Evans High School’s fourth annual, school-wide “Wear Red to Honor Henrietta Lacks” event, was held on Friday, October 3, 2014. This celebration was intended to honor Henrietta Lacks, the amazing afterlife of her cells, and the unique and valuable role they have played, and continue to play, in numerous medical breakthroughs. We are eager to share Henrietta’s story with as many people as possible, so we hope you will keep reading to learn more about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. We also hope you will join us in the future by wearing red and hosting a “Wear Red” event at your own school on or around October 4th. Included here are helpful tips and directions for hosting a “Wear Red” event at your school, plus additional online resources for more information on Henrietta Lacks, her family, and their place in medical history. (more…)
November 14, 2014
Evans High School Cell-a-brates The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Wear Red to Honor Henrietta Lacks 2014Posted by rhacademic under Teacher Talk, Uncategorized | Tags: HeLa, Henrietta Lacks, Random House, Rebecca Skloot, teacher, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks |
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August 27, 2013
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In a news conference, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced an agreement with the family of Henrietta Lacks that will restrict NIH-financed research on the HeLa genome. Two members of Lacks’ family will serve on the HeLa Genome Council, marking the first time tissue donors have had a voice in the process and finally giving the Lacks family a say in how Henrietta’s cells are used. To learn more about this landmark announcement for which author Rebecca Skloot’s book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has played such a large role, please read the following articles: The HeLa Genome: An Agreement on Privacy and Access from the NIH, Nature Magazine and The New York Times.
May 14, 2012
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On October 4, 2011, the Evans High School Multicultural Club and Evans High School Biology teachers invited the entire staff and student body of Evans High School to celebrate the life of Henrietta Lacks. Henrietta Lacks died of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital on this day in 1951. Henrietta Lacks may have died on this day, but her cells, called HeLa cells, are still living in laboratories all over the world. “Henrietta’s cells were the first immortal human cells ever grown in culture. They were essential to developing the polio vaccine. They went up in the first space missions to see what would happen to cells in zero gravity. Many scientific landmarks since then have used her cells, including cloning, gene mapping, and in vitro fertilization” (Zielinski, 2010). This is an incredible story told by Rebecca Skloot in her award-winning book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This book makes a wonderful springboard for discussions concerning civil rights and medical ethics as well as the science behind these miraculous cells. Another interesting subject covered in the book involves the Lacks family. The family receives no monetary compensation from laboratories and drug companies using HeLa cells and they cannot afford healthcare. (more…)
January 27, 2011
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Read the important book that’s topping many school lists. Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.
In the following video clip, author Rebecca Skloot sits down to discuss the inspiration, impact, and process that went into The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
The paperback edition of the book releases on March 8, 2011.
June 18, 2010
by Amy Jurskis, Tri-cities High School, East Point, Georgia
Like many teachers, I grew up reading, and to this day I attribute most of my knowledge to stories I read in books. Perhaps more than any other pedagogical tool, narratives allow students to connect to, organize, and make sense of information—which is why I was thrilled to tune into Fresh Air on NPR one afternoon and discover Rebecca Skloot’s amazing book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Skloot’s book is essentially three narratives, each with unique applications to the disciplines of language arts, history, and science. First there is the story of the author’s own odyssey—sparked by a casual comment made by a biology instructor—to discover the woman behind the HeLa cells. Skloot’s story is both a riveting work of investigative journalism and a deeply moving memoir, as her search for answers ultimately results in the development of a life-changing friendship with Henrietta’s daughter Deborah. (more…)