Meet Henrietta Lacks the Black woman whose cells were used to develop polio vaccines

Meet Henrietta Lacks the Black woman whose cells were used to develop polio vaccines

- Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman who suffered from cervical cancer's tumour cells were taken without her knowledge to develop polio vaccines

- It is indicated that Henrietta's cells also aided medical research into diseases such as leukaemia, influenza, haemophilia, herpes, Parkinson’s disease and cloning

- One Dr George Gey who obtained Henrietta's cells discovered they multiplied extraordinarily and initiated research into their useful application

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A Black woman by name Henrietta Lacks whose body cells had extraordinary ability to multiply outside her body was the icon behind the creation of the polio vaccine without her knowledge.

Africacheck.org indicates that the HeLa (Henrietta Lacks) cells were easily affected by the poliovirus which made it ideal to use for testing and developing the polio vaccine.

Apart from the breakthrough in using the HeLa cells to develop vaccines for the incurable polio vaccine, reports indicate that the HeLa cells have also supported other medical research into diseases such as leukaemia, influenza, haemophilia, herpes, Parkinson’s disease and cloning.

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It is reported that since the polio vaccine came to use in 1955, the poliovirus has seen an almost complete eradication.

The extraordinary ability of Henrietta's cells was discovered when she was hospitalized after suffering from cervical cancer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA, in 1951.

Samples of her tumour cells were sent to one Dr George Gey who made the profound discovery about the HeLa cells. This was not known to Henrietta and her family and no consent was granted for the cells to be taken or even used in any research work.

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It was until the publication of a paper titled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks that her life story and legacy has become well-known.

The HeLa cells were cultured, which is how cells are kept alive and grown after they’ve been removed from an organism, like a plant or an animal.

In other news, a talented Ghanaian goalkeeper has been discovered locked up at Nsawam Prison as part of a reformation initiative

In a video sighted by YEN.com.gh, the gentleman by name Arhin Aboagye was captured as he made mind-blowing saves in a football match

The goalkeeper indicates that he deserved to be behind bars due to his past life but is determined to make a great comeback and pursue a great career in goalkeeping.

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Source: Yen.com.gh

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