Write 5 page essay on the topic HeLa cells still being used in science especially in Ebola virus.
Though the cells have been beneficial to the entire society, the way they were extracted, and the way they are being used has been criticized by many authors. Despite criticism, HeLA cells are still being used for every aspect in science today, and are being used to develop vaccinations that can fight the Ebola Virus, which has become a great threat to human beings.
“The Immortal life of Henrietta” by Rebecca Skloot highlights how HeLa cells have been beneficial to the entire world. On October, 4, 1951, Henrietta Lacks, a 31 year old woman, and a mother died of cervical cancer. As it was the norm to take biopsy samples from patients, doctors took her cancerous tumors to enhance their study. However, this was done without her knowledge. Doctors, George Gey and Mary Kubicek, overcame laboratory failures, and succeeded in keeping human cancer cells alive and growing forever. Since then, the HeLa cells have been used to develop important vaccines and cancer medicines. In Skloot’s book she writes that the cells are also being used in processes such as cloning, gene mapping, as well as in vitro fertilization (Skloot 369). Moreover, cancer survivors who were being treated alongside Henrietta were not aware until mid-1970s that the cells from Henrietta’s cancer have been used to save their lives. After this discovery, many medical researchers sought to know more about the cells, and why they are special. University of Minnesota scientists discovered that the cells could be infected with a virus that causes polio. With this knowledge the cells provided a quick way test of the usefulness of the Salk polio vaccine. It was discovered that if vaccinated patients produced antibodies that would prevent the disease, his or her blood plasma would prevent polio when it mixed with HeLa cells and poliovirus in laboratories. The research has been operated and funded by African-American researchers
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