Saturday, August 31, 2013

93:120 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

HeLa cells are known in scientific circles around the world but the story behind them was a mystery for years until one student started asking and uncovered the story behind the cells, the story of Henrietta Lacks.  Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern black tobacco farmer who would have undoubtedly gone unnoticed in history if not for her cervical cancer and the doctor who chose to take tissue samples to send to a cellular scientist.  What came about from that simple little procedure was scientific gold and the start of one family's nightmare as they searched for the truth.

I had mixed emotions on this one.  I found the story of the Lacks's fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time but the way the author jumped about quite a bit, especially in the beginning, definitely made it harder for me to get emotionally invested early on.  By the end, the jumping had settled down and the human interest part of it had picked up while still having enough scientific tidbits to show the relevance to every day life.  The biggest thing, from my pov, was how many questions this has brought up and how many of them are still unresolved when it comes to how these types of things are handled even now.  Definitely something we should all be pondering.

Page count: 386p/24,477p ytd/168,877p lifetime

No comments:

Post a Comment