This painting depicts HeLa cells. For those of you who do not know what a HeLa cell is you should read the book the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lachs. The cells were named after her and are an immortal cell line used for decades in research. In fact it is the oldest cell line used in research. The cell line was derived cervical cancer cells from a patient, Henrietta Lachs. Her story is interesting. The cells were taken without her knowledge in the early 50s. At that time permissions from patients in research was not the standard of practice it is today. Informed consent is now required for all clinical research with investigators required to tell you details of the project and potential risks. We have review boards that approve all research prior to the start of any experiment.

Some interesting facts about HeLa cells.

  1. Jonas Salk used HeLa cells were used to test the polio vaccine.
  2. HeLa cells were the first cells cloned-1955
  3. There are more than 75,000 papers published using HeLa cells.
  4. HeLa cells have gone into space.
  5. HeLa cells have been subjected to nuclear testing.




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