Rebecca Skloot, journalist and author, will be speaking and signing copies of her new book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” on Friday at 4 p.m.
Held in the Activities and Recreation Center Ballroom, her bestselling book discusses the life of Henrietta Lacks, a Southern tobacco farmer who died more than 50 years ago, and how cells taken from her body proved to be the first human cells grown in a culture to be “immortal.”
These cells, called HeLa cells, became one of the most important tools in medicine and proved vital for developing the polio vaccine, uncovering the secrets of cancer and other medical breakthroughs.
However, Lacks’ family did not become aware of her “immortal” cells until 20 years after her death. They saw no profits from the medical advances and raised ethical issues about research on human biological materials.
Sponsored by the UC Davis Genome Center, the Science and Technology Studies Program, the University Writing Program and the Davis Humanities Institute, Skloot’s talk and book signing are free to the public.
-Text by NICK MARKWITH
(Source: UC Davis News Service)