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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

A guide to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010), the inaugural book of the First Year Reading Program at Stevens

HeLa in Scientific Research

HeLa cells have been used in thousands of studies, articles, and patents since the mid-twentieth century, and you can even find detailed genomic information about HeLa cell lines.


"HeLa Cells" (September 2012), by Euan Slorach (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

HeLa cells dividing over 27hrs cells round up grow hair then divide (video)

By Ken Salisbury (2009)

HeLa in the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP, NIH)

In 2013, the Lacks family came to an agreement with the National Institutes of Health over the use of the HeLa genome after studies about the genome were published without the consent of the family. As a result of that agreement, all the data from research on the HeLa genome were to be stored in the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), for use by researchers upon approval.


Articles discussing the 2013 agreement between the Lacks family and the NIH:


The first article published using HeLa genomic sequencing from the dbGaP collection:

HeLa in PubMed

HeLa in Patents

HeLa in the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE)

HeLa in the News