The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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What did George Gey do in the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?

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George Gey, of course, was the creator of the HeLa cell line.

His work was based on the principle that cancer could be conquered. To that end, George sent vials of Henrietta's cells to researchers across the globe. These researchers lived in the United States, Asia, and Europe.

At the time, no one shipped live cells. So, George packed his tubes into holes in blocks of ice. The blocks of ice were then packed into boxes and filled with sawdust. Sometimes, pilots or stewards carried the vials in their breast pockets.

In this way, scientists across the globe were able to carry out experiments on the cells. Many of the scientists exposed the cells to various types of drugs. The goal was to discover ones which could destroy cancerous cells without posing a danger to other body cells.

Although there is no formal record of any contact between George Gey and Henrietta Lacks, a microbiologist (Laure Aurelian) claims that the two did meet. Aurelian maintains that George told Henrietta her cells would...

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