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immortal life of henriette lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot


Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family--especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother's cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance? Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.

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Download the eBook from North Texas Libraries On the Go
Download the eAudiobook from North Texas Libraries On the Go


easy pickings

Easy Pickings by Richard S. Wheeler


A widow must defend herself and her property from greedy townsfolk in Easy Pickings, a new tale from renowned master of the Western novel, Richard S. Wheeler. Life hasn't always been easy for March and Kermit McPhee, but things are looking up. March gives birth to a healthy son, and their small gold mine is looking better and better as Kermit blasts his way along a good seam of ore. Then Kermit is crushed by a cave-in. As soon as her husband dies, crooks are at March's door, eager to get their hands on the mine. The peaceful town of Marysville, Montana, is peaceful no more. March's home is burned and her baby killed. Terrified and threatened, she is targeted by the wealthy and powerful. March fights back every way she can. She discovers she has allies: a saloon man named Tipperary Leary, an assayer named Rolf Wittgenstein, and a slippery lawyer named Hermes Apollo. Still, March must ask herself whether it is worth it; whether a gold mine, or wealth of any sort, should be defended at such a price.

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