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WHO honors Henrietta Lacks, woman whose cells served science

by Mary Sewell

“What happened to Henrietta was wrong,” Tedros said during a special ceremony at WHO Geneva headquarters before handing the Director-General’s Award for Henrietta Lacks to her 87-year-old son Lawrence Lacks as several of her other descendants looked on. Lacks died of cervical cancer on Oct. 4, 1951, at age 31. The tissue is taken from her at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore provided the first human cells to be successfully cloned. Reproduced infinitely ever since

HeLa cells have become a cornerstone of modern medicine, including developing the polio vaccine, genetic mapping, etc.  COVID-19 vaccines. Tedros noted that Lacks lived when racial discrimination was legal in the United States and that it remains widespread, even if no longer permitted in most countries”” “Henrietta Lacks was exploited. She is one of many women of color whose bodies have been misused by science””  “” he said.””” he placed her trust in the health system so she could receive treatment. But the plan took something from her without her knowledge or consent””  “””the medical.

Technologies developed from this injustice have been used to perpetrate further injustice because they have not been shared equitably around the worl”  “””Tedros added. The HeLa cell line — a name derived from the first two letters ofHenriettaLLacks’firsttt and last names — was a scientific breakthrough. Tedros said the cells were”  “””foundation”  “”” in the development of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which can eliminate cancer that took her life.

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