Almost 60 years ago, doctors took cells from a cancer patient in Baltimore. She died soon afterward, forgotten to everyone except her family. But her cells became immortal and famous - known as HeLa. HeLa cells were the first to grow reliably in a laboratory, and they're still the most widely used today. They're responsible for everything from the Polio vaccine to gene mapping. They've ridden into space and into oblivion on atomic weapons. In a new book, Rebecca Skloot tells the story of the woman from whom HeLa cells were taken without permission, and what happened to her family after she died. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is part biography and part investigation into racial politics and medical ethics. [Broadcast Date: February 8, 2010]
Want more of The Bob Edwards Show?