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4 books of Rebecca Skloot

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark . . .

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Se llamaba Henrietta Lacks. Era una campesina cuyas células, que fueron tomadas sin su conocimiento, siguen vivas a pesar de que ella lleva muerta más de sesenta años y se han convertido en una de las herramientas más importantes de la medicina: fueron vitales para el desarrollo de la vacuna contra la polio, desvelaron secretos sobre el cáncer o los virus, ayudaron a realizar importantes avances como la fertilización in vitro o la clonación y han sido compradas y vendidas por laboratorios de todo el mundo, generando grandes beneficios económicos a la industria farmacéutica. Sin embargo, su familia, que no puede permitirse pagar un seguro médico, vivió cincuenta años sin conocer la historia de Henrietta, y todavía hoy lucha por defender el legado de su madre y abuela.

La periodista y escritora científica Rebecca Skloot realiza una apasionante labor de investigación que nos transporta desde la pequeña y decadente ciudad natal de Henrietta, en los años cincuenta, hasta el Baltimore . . .

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HeLa: una sigla che indica una linea cellulare di vitale importanza nelle ricerche sul cancro e su molte altre malattie. Una sigla che si riferisce a Henrietta Lacks, morta di tumore nel 1951, e da cui quelle cellule miracolose furono prelevate. Rebecca Skloot ricostruisce la vita, la morte, e il lascito di una donna, ponendo domande ineludibili in cui etica e medicina si intrecciano indissolubilmente: chi dispone del materiale biologico di cui siamo fatti? Chi custodisce la memoria di ciò che siamo stati?

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Books of Rebecca Skloot