Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

0Henrietta died in 1951, but the cell samples taken from her by doctors are still alive. The cells that scientists named HeLa (Henrietta Lacks), today in various laboratories in the world, there are about 20 tons of Lax cells. You can say Henrietta Lax - the first immortal man.

“Lax worked on a tobacco farm and was the wife of a working shipyard in Baltimore County, Maryland, where she was diagnosed with a malignant cervical tumor at the age of 30. During her treatment at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital, she took a sample of her cancer cells. Cell were removed without her knowledge and consent, as was usually the case at that time. Laks died in the hospital department “for color” at the age of 31, leaving five children.

Her story did not end there. With the help of cells taken from Lax, which continued to multiply, the researchers managed to create for the first time an “immortal” colony of human cells,grown in laboratory culture (in previous experiments, cultured human cells died after a certain period).
“From the 1950s, if researchers wanted to find out how cells behave in a particular environment or react to a particular chemical, they turned to HeLa cells.” The cell line grew faster, and therefore gave results faster; “It is durable, inexpensive and widely available.” HeLa cells have helped scientists understand human cellular functions and genetics and develop methods for treating many diseases.

These cells have become one of the most important tools of medicine. Due to their unusual properties, a polio vaccine was developed, with their help they revealed the secrets of cancer diseases, viruses and the effects of a nuclear explosion; they helped to make important steps in the study of artificial insemination, cloning and genetic mapping. HeLa cells were continuously used to study diseases such as cancer, AIDS, to study the effects of radiation and toxic substances, to solve a huge number of other scientific problems. HeLa taught scientists to cultivate hundreds of other cancer cell lines.A search in the PubMed database indicates that there are more than 75,000 articles that mention the HeLa cell line. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, about 11,000 patents are associated with HeLa cells. Scientists and doctors are constantly increasing the number of studies on HeLa cells. There are already 60,000 such studies. In December 1960, HeLa cells were the first to fly into space in a Soviet satellite. "

Relatives of Lax first learned about these cells in the 1970s. The medical establishment did not answer many of the questions asked by relatives; daughter Deborah believed that mothers could be cloned.

The subject is revealed in more detail in the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

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  • Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA

    Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA Immortal Henrietta Lax with husband David, 1945, Baltimore, USA