Mrs. Henrietta Lacks And Her Cells (HeLa) Scientific and Sociological Overview Cell “Refresher” Potter, JJ, HeLa Cells (Differential Interference Contrast Microscopy) The cell is the basic unit of life Lysosome Golgi Rough ER Nucleus Smooth ER Nucleolus Vacuole Cell Membrane Mitochondrion The Nucleus contains the cell’s genetic material (genome) Genetic material in the form of DNA Molecules are organized into structures called chromosomes HeLa cells stained with Hoechst dye for DNA There are more than 200 different types of cells in your body Red Cells White cell Liver Hepatocytes Neural Cells Skin Fibroblast Liver Stellate Cell Fat Cells Kidney Cells Cells are Organized into Tissues Multiple Tissues form Organs Figure 1. Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition, Sinauer Associates How Many Bricks are in The ESB? There are 10 Million bricks in The Empire State Building How Many Cells are in your Body? More Than 10 Trillion !!! = 1 million Empire State Buildings What do scientists do with cells? •Tissue culture is the growth of tissues and/or cells under artificial conditions •Henrietta Lacks’ cells were named He La cells •HeLa cells were the 1st to be kept alive outside of the body HeLa Cells - The first immortal human cell line HeLa Cells – The Launchpad for Advances in Biomedical Research Vaccines (Polio, HPV, Etc) Genomics / Epigenetics Virology (HIV, HPV-18) Molecular and Cellular Biology Recombinant Protein Production (Insulin) Tissue Culture Insulin Receptor Drug Discovery Microscopy Cancer Research Controversy Surrounding HeLa • Full Disclosure of Research Intentions • Privacy Issues • Social Justice issues • Ownership Issues • Historical African American distrust of medical research based on past injustice To Learn More (1) NPR “Fresh Air” Interview - Listen online at: http://www.npr.org/2011/03/18/134622044/tracing-the-immortal-cells-of-henrietta-lacks (2) The book by Rebecca Skloot http://www.amazon.com/Immortal-Life-Henrietta-Lacks/dp/1400052173 (3) Consider contributing to the Henrietta Lacks Foundation http://www.henriettalacksfoundation.org/ (4) Attend 2nd annual Henrietta Lacks recognition event, tentatively Oct 1 2011 in Turner Auditorium.