A Conspiracy of Cells: One Woman's Immortal Legacy-And the Medical Scandal It Caused

A Conspiracy of Cells: One Woman's Immortal Legacy-And the Medical Scandal It Caused

by Michael Gold
ISBN-10:
0887060994
ISBN-13:
9780887060991
Pub. Date:
10/28/1985
Publisher:
State University of New York Press

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Overview

A Conspiracy of Cells: One Woman's Immortal Legacy-And the Medical Scandal It Caused

A Conspiracy of Cells presents the first full account of one of medical science's more bizarre and costly mistakes. On October 4, 1951, a young black woman named Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer. That is, most of Henrietta Lacks died. In a laboratory dish at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, a few cells taken from her fatal tumor continued to live—to thrive, in fact. For reasons unknown, her cells, code-named "HeLa," grew more vigorously than any other cells in culture at the time.

Long-time science reporter Michael Gold describes in graphic detail how the errant HeLa cells spread, contaminating and overwhelming other cell cultures, sabotaging research projects, and eluding detection until they had managed to infiltrate scientific laboratories worldwide. He tracks the efforts of geneticist Walter Nelson-Rees to alert a sceptical scientific community to the rampant HeLa contamination. And he reconstructs Nelson-Rees's crusade to expose the embarrassing mistakes and bogus conclusions of researchers who unknowingly abetted HeLa's spread.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887060991
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 10/28/1985
Pages: 170
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

1. Special Delivery
2. The Seed that Took
3. HeLagram
4. Out of Thin Air
5. In the Purple Palace
6. Keeper of the Cells
7. Mug Shots
8. Spreading the Word
9. Damage Report
10. Provenance
11. Another Run-in with Relda
12. Showdown
13. Even the Best of Labs
14. The Little Dutch Boy
15. Battle Fatigue
16. Legacy
17. Epilogue

Acknowledgments
Sources
Index

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