The Most Addictive Books of the Last 25 Years
Because we would have never known the truth without it.
Henrietta Lacks was a poor, Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. From the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her cells played a role in developing the polio vaccine, uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses and the effects of the atom bomb. Still today, her cells are leading to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping.