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157762.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:31 am Reply with quote

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Flash
157768.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:38 am Reply with quote

Yes, macabre but in a good way.

 
dr.bob
157780.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:13 am Reply with quote

Slight niggle. It's wrong to describe Henrietta Lacks as the only human to achieve immortality. Immortalised human cell lines are a standard tool in studying many medical effects, and there are hundreds of them currently in use.

Check out this site for a pretty comprehensive list:

http://www.biotech.ist.unige.it/cldb/spe-1ctot.html

Whilst the HeLa cell line is the most famous, and may have been the first established human cell line, it's a long way from being the only one.

 
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157786.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:22 am Reply with quote

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MatC
157787.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:25 am Reply with quote



Yes, but the unique immortality isn’t the interesting bit, is it? It’s just a wonderful story altogether, so the fact she’s not unique doesn’t matter, it seems to me. Can we say she’s the most ubiquitous human being ever?

 
dr.bob
157790.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:32 am Reply with quote

Probably. Her cells do seem to be amazingly adept at leaping across the lab and contaminating all sorts of other cell lines.

Check out this list of contaminated human cell lines one wikipedia and note how many of them have been contaminated by HeLa cells.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_contaminated_cell_lines

 
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157792.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:34 am Reply with quote

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Jenny
157919.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:33 am Reply with quote

I like the factoid about there being more of her now, in terms of biomass, then there ever was when she was alive.

 
Frederick The Monk
167859.  Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:07 am Reply with quote

I'd like to use the HeLa story in the Exploration script - do you think we could get away with saying that Henrietta Lacks is the most widely travelled person in history?????

 
Gray
167865.  Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:16 am Reply with quote

Also, by mass, the fattest.

Q: Who is the fattest zombie contaminant alive today?

Or we could just make a B-movie.

 
Flash
167870.  Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:23 am Reply with quote

Frederick The Monk wrote:
do you think we could get away with saying that Henrietta Lacks is the most widely travelled person in history?????

Feels a bit stretchy to me. But maybe there's nothing better.

 
dr.bob
168015.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:40 am Reply with quote

Gray wrote:
Also, by mass, the fattest.


Not so. Being fat involves having some amount of fatty tissue. After all, if you saw someone who was 18 stones of rippling muscles, you'd hardly call them fat!

Since HeLa cells don't have any fatty tissue, you could say that Henrietta Lacks was at once both the heaviest and least fat person around.

 
Gray
168023.  Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:50 am Reply with quote

I wonder what kind of cells the tumor was found in...

Ew. It was the cervix. Not many tasteful jokes we can make about that...

 

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