• The Observer

  • SHARE

The astonishing story of Henrietta Lacks, who died of cancer in 1951 but whose still living cells are now the basis for much medical research, has captivated the U.S. for the past two years — and there is no sign of the debate, or its controversies, abating.

As revealed in the bestselling 2011 book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” this is a tale of a poor black tobacco farmer who never consented to having her tissues taken but whose cancer cells have proved so important they have formed the foundation for work leading to two Nobel prizes.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW