The family of Henrietta Lacks is currently in talks to reach a settlement with a biotech company after years of legal battles. According to CBS News, Lacks’ family and Thermo Fischer Scientific, the company that profited from her cells after taking them without her consent, will seek to reach an agreement at a settlement conference.
While undergoing treatment for cervical cancer in 1951 at John Hopkins Hospital, Lacks’ cancer cells were used as the source of the first immortalized human cell line. As her cells kept reproducing, the HeLa immortal cell line was created which is used in biomedical research today.
Lacks’ cells were the cause of several medical advancements such as the development of the polio vaccine, HIV/AIDS treatment, the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as cosmetic breakthroughs.
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