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Vintage HeLa Cells Video

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 04:00 AM

Five years after Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer, her cells still lived on...and quickly multiplied...in labs eager to study cells outside the body. This video, made in 1956, shows HeLa cells growing rapidly (the time lapse shows the growth at 1000 times normal speed), and hints at how enormously important they're about to become for modern medicine. (Henrietta's cancer cells are STILL used today, and have helped spur medical advancements from polio vaccines to chemotherapy drugs.)

Read more:

Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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Comments [4]

Tim Clarke

Thanks for the mention on this show. I listen to every one of them, and a special hello to Robert Krulwich who I sculpted Aliens parts for many years ago when he was doing a piece about the possible visitation of Aliens to earth, on the Connie Chung show.

Nov. 18 2013 02:26 PM
Holger

download link is dead... 404

Nov. 09 2013 01:48 PM
Richard Olson from Flint Hills

Included in a number of episodes over the previous 6 months or so are portions that feature the Christian faith of story subjects demonstrated by prayers and hymns of some length that do not seem to further the subject of the story. The segment on Henrietta in the tumor episode, for example, traces events to the close of Henrietta's life. At a point days before she enters a coma from which she does not awake prior to her death, the pain the cancer causes is portrayed as impervious to injections of morphine and alcohol, but instantly abates within seconds after her brother begins singing a hymn and Henrietta begins chanting amens, and so on and so forth, in thankful gratitude. Is the intent to establish that it is plausible this particular entreaty for cessation of suffering resulted in Divine deliverance? Every carefully contrived experiment to demonstrate efficacy of prayer in health outcomes that I am familiar with fails to establish any possibility this occurs, and the faith event recorded and included in this segment is anecdotal evidence of, well, nothing. How does it advance the story? For 15 or so minutes the audience learns about research methodology with rigorous testable processes that results in a wide-ranging and highly beneficial disease treatment outcome (plus valuable ancillary knowledge about cell behavior useful beyond only cancer), and then just at the climax of the story untestable, innuendo-laden woo is inserted from left field or somewhere. Why?

Oct. 28 2013 12:29 PM
Paul Stewart from Dallas, TX

Thank you for telling this fascinating story!

Oct. 25 2013 06:06 PM

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