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La vita immortale di Henrietta Lacks

di Rebecca Skloot

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiConversazioni / Citazioni
11,727690418 (4.15)2 / 830
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.… (altro)
  1. 140
    The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down di Anne Fadiman (kidzdoc)
  2. 50
    Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present di Harriet A. Washington (lives4laughs, fannyprice)
  3. 50
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration di Isabel Wilkerson (bunnygirl)
    bunnygirl: personal history and stories linked with the larger African American history. if you were wondering about Skloot's reference to the Lacks family being part of the Great Migration, this book explains exactly what it is and tells the stories of three families in a similar manner.… (altro)
  4. 73
    Stiff. The curious lives of human cadavers di Mary Roach (VenusofUrbino)
    VenusofUrbino: If you like well-researched and well-written non-fiction like "Immortal Life" then you will also appreciate Mary Roach.
  5. 40
    A Lesson Before Dying di Ernest J. Gaines (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Reading "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," I was pained by the impoverished lives of people who still lived on plantations in the 1940s - lack of schooling, lack of health care, lack of any kind of decent housing etc. "A Lesson Before Dying" more directly addresses the life of people still living on plantations in the '40s. Even though I sort of knew this, it was an emotional shock to truly recognize that all the abuse and oppression did not end with the Civil War but was still there 80 years later.… (altro)
  6. 30
    Cacciatori di corpi. La verità su farmaci killer e medicina corrotta di Sonia Shah (legxleg)
  7. 41
    Con cura : diario di un medico deciso a fare meglio di Atul Gawande (Othemts)
  8. 20
    The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War di Eileen Welsome (barbharris1)
  9. 20
    Rosalind Franklin: la donna che scopri la struttura del DNA di Brenda Maddox (beyondthefourthwall)
  10. 20
    LA MOGLIE DEL CARTOGRAFO di Robert Whitaker (sboyte)
    sboyte: Fascinating stories of the people behind great scientific discoveries.
  11. 10
    The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History di John M. Barry (LKAYC)
  12. 10
    The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It di Ricki Lewis (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both of these books capture and humanize the process of medical discovery and the experiences of the patients. Although the authors have somewhat different backgrounds — Rebecca Skloot is a journalist with an undergraduate degree in biology, whereas Rikki Lewis has a PhD in genetics — I think the discussion of the scientific issues and the ethical issues regarding informed consent would appeal to the same readers.… (altro)
  13. 10
    Truevine di Beth Macy (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Unusual medical conditions and racism as experienced by African Americans in the Jim Crow South.
  14. 10
    The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee di Marja Mills (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: In both books, journalists get personally involved with their subjects.
  15. 21
    The Wandering Gene and the Indian Princess di Jeff Wheelwright (LeesyLou)
    LeesyLou: If you have an interest in the social and personal ethics and background of medical care, this adds to your understanding. Minority cultures and personal medical ethics are equally poorly understood by many practitioners.
  16. 10
    The Juggler's Children: A Journey into Family, Legend and the Genes that Bind Us di Carolyn Abraham (sboyte)
  17. 10
    Life Itself: Exploring the Realm of the Living Cell di Boyce Rensberger (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Cell cultures are being used to study diseases as well as cure them. Learn about the cell cultures called 'HeLa' in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and read about cell cultures' utility as a whole in Life Itself.
  18. 12
    Dentro Jenna di Mary E. Pearson (macart3)
    macart3: Deals with bioethics and human experimentation without others' consent.
  19. 12
    Tissue and cell donation : an essential guide di Ruth M. Warwick (Limelite)
    Limelite: Scientific discussion of medical/ethical, and other considerations regarding patients' rights and the medical profession's responsibilities on the subject, as well as other pertinent procedures.
  20. 04
    The Dangerous Joy of Dr. Sex and Other True Stories di Pagan Kennedy (Othemts)

(vedi tutti i 20 consigli)

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But I tell you one thing, I don't want to be immortal if it mean living forever, cause then everybody else just die and get old in front of you while you stay the same, and that's just sad.

That is one heck of a story. In a nutshell: decades ago, there was a woman named Henrietta Lacks who developed cancer. While treating her, a doctor took a sample of her cells, which turned out to be rather unusual. Unlike any other cells found before (or since?), they never died. They just kept growing and dividing and living forever.

Henrietta’s were different: they reproduced an entire generation every twenty-four hours, and they never stopped. They became the first immortal human cells ever grown in a laboratory.

This was huge for basically the entire field of biology/medicine/etc and should (in a better world) have been huge for her family and legacy. Instead, the world forgot her name and her family got basically nothing.

She's the most important person in the world and her family living in poverty. If our mother is so important to science, why can't we get health insurance?

[b:The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks|6493208|The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks|Rebecca Skloot|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1327878144l/6493208._SX50_.jpg|6684634] is the story of Henrietta Lacks, her immortal cells, her family, and the reporter with the awesome name trying to track the whole story down.

That core of the book is fascinating and wonderful. Science really is more complicated and goes far deeper than I ever expect and the story of how it all fits together gets all sorts of complicated. But for better or for worse, the book doesn't just cover the science and history, but also has the human element. And the people in this story are exemplars of how race and poverty and history manage to ruin just about everything. Man the world is screwed up; and it makes for a hard to read story.

Black scientists and technicians, many of them women, used cells from a black woman to help save the lives of millions of Americans, most of them white. And they did so on the same campus—and at the very same time—that state officials were conducting the infamous Tuskegee syphilis studies.

Overall, a hard read, but well worth it. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Good job of expanding a happenstance of biological research into an interesting read, nicely balancing biography with well-explained science. ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
3.5 stars. Skloot has done amazing research: 20 page bibliography, 10 pages of acknowledgments, but the book suffers from trying to do too much. It is a profile of Henrietta Lacks, whose cancer cells were the first to survive outside the body and have been used by many thousands of research scientists for 60 years, and her surviving family. It also takes a look at the moral and ethical issues around using human tissue, and the controversy about Henrietta's cancer cells, including how big pharma can profit while her family lives in relative poverty. I felt the 2-3 story lines were incongruous, making the book disjointed. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
I just started this today, don't expect me to do anything else this weekend. ( )
  flemertown | Jul 10, 2021 |
Informative and beautifully written. ( )
  Conni_W | Jul 7, 2021 |
Skloot narrates the science lucidly, tracks the racial politics of medicine thoughtfully and tells the Lacks family’s often painful history with grace. She also confronts the spookiness of the cells themselves, intrepidly crossing into the spiritual plane on which the family has come to understand their mother’s continued presence in the world. Science writing is often just about “the facts.” ­Skloot’s book, her first, is far deeper, braver and more wonderful.
 
I put down Rebecca Skloot’s first book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” more than once. Ten times, probably. Once to poke the fire. Once to silence a pinging BlackBerry. And eight times to chase my wife and assorted visitors around the house, to tell them I was holding one of the most graceful and moving nonfiction books I’ve read in a very long time.
 
Writing with a novelist's artistry, a biologist's expertise, and the zeal of an investigative reporter, Skloot tells a truly astonishing story of racism and poverty, science and conscience, spirituality and family, all driven by a galvanizing inquiry into the sanctity of the body and the very nature of the life force.
aggiunto da sduff222 | modificaBooklist, Donna Seaman (Dec 1, 2009)
 
Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer in a “colored” hospital ward in Baltimore in 1951. She would have gone forever unnoticed by the outside world if not for the dime-sized slice of her tumor sent to a lab for research eight months earlier. ...
Skloot, a science writer, has been fascinated with Lacks since she first took a biology class at age 16. As she went on to earn a degree in the subject, she yearned to know more about the woman, anonymous for years, who was responsible for those ubiquitous cells....
 
Skloot tells a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society's most vulnerable people.
aggiunto da Shortride | modificaPublishers Weekly
 

» Aggiungi altri autori (9 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Rebecca Sklootautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Campbell, CassandraNarratoreautore principalealcune edizioniconfermato
Turpin, BahniNarratoreautore principalealcune edizioniconfermato
Acedo, Sara R.Progetto della copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Grip, GöranTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Townsend, MandaFotografoautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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We must not see any person as an abstraction.
Instead, we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets,
with its own treasures, with its own sources of anguish,
and with some measure of triumph.

----Elie Wiesel
from The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code
Dedica
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For my family:

My parents, Betsy and Floyd; their spouses, Terry and Beverly;
my brother and sister-in-law, Matt and Renee;
and my wonderful nephews, Nick and Justin.
They all did without me for far too long because of this book,
but never stopped believing in it, or me.

And in loving memory of my grandfather,
James Robert Lee (1912-2003),
who treasured books more than anyone I've known.
Incipit
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On January 29, 1951, David Lacks sat behind the wheel of his old Buick, watching the rain fall.
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...But I always have thought it was strange, if our mother cells done so much for medicine, how come her family can't afford to see no doctors? Don't make no sense. People got rich off my mother without us even knowin about them takin her cells, now we don't get a dime. I used to get so mad about that to where it made me sick and I had to take pills. But I don't got it in me no more to fight. I just want to know who my mother was.
----Deborah Lacks
When I tell people the story of Henrietta Lacks and her cells, the first question is usually Wasn't it illegal for doctors to take Henrietta's cells without her knowledge? Don't doctors have to tell you when they use your cells in research? The answer is no--not in 1951, and not in 2009, when this book went to press.
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(Click per vedere. Attenzione: può contenere anticipazioni.)
(Click per vedere. Attenzione: può contenere anticipazioni.)
(Click per vedere. Attenzione: può contenere anticipazioni.)
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Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

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