Daily Archives: May 10, 2010

Welcome Chronicle Review readers and Facebook friends! Enter to win a FREE copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks!

Did you see our ad in The Chronicle Review? Are you coming to us via Facebook? Whether the path, you’ve come to the right place to learn more about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks—and possibly win a free copy of this important, new book!  (offer open only to academics and librarians)

Here’s a brief summary: 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. She was diagnosed with an aggressive and fatal form of cervical cancer and was dead by age 30. Yet her cells–taken without her knowledge–became one of the most important tools in medicine. HeLa cells were vital in the development of the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the effects of the atom bomb; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions, making billions of dollars for many but not her family. Yet she remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave—until now.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is being read and discussed by professors and students from across disciplines, such as African-American Studies, Biology, Ethics, Journalism and more. And the book has already been selected by over 15 college common reading programs—a rare feat for any book let alone one that just published. To see the long and growing list of academic praise and common reading program adoptions, click here.

You can also begin reading the book now by clicking here and then ponder such questions as: How do race, class and gender factor in this story? Should the Lacks family be compensated for their mother’s contribution to medicine? What does this story say about modern medical ethics? The first five people—must be eithr an academic or a librarian—to post a thoughtful comment here will receive a free copy of the book. 

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