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The Negative and Positive Affects of HeLa cells on medicine

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Jane Stephens

on 15 February 2016

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Transcript of The Negative and Positive Affects of HeLa cells on medicine

The Story
Medical Positives
There are many postives that occured with the discovery of HeLa cells. These cells contributed to the development of a polio vaccine. They were also used to discover that cancer cells have an enzyme called telomerase that repairs their DNA, allowing them to function when normal cells have died. Anti-cancer drugs to kill this enzyme are in early clinical trials. HeLa cells were also used to determine that humans have 46 chromosomes which provided basis for making several types of genetic diagnoses.
Medical Negatives
However, because these cells were taken from Henrietta Lacks without consent from her ore her family, there have been many debates on medical ethics.
Technology Negatives
It was discovered the all cell cultures have been contaminated with HeLa. The uncontrollable growth of HeLa is such a problem in many labs that, if a lab wants to use HeLa, it cannot use any other cell line in fear of compromising good science.
1. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/201001/five-reasons-henrietta-lacks-most-important-woman-medical-history
2. http://www.nature.com/news/deal-done-over-hela-cell-line-1.13511
3. http://hela-transfection.com/
Technology Positives
HeLa cells have also helped with the advancement of biotechnology. They have helped scientist learn to isolate one specific cell, multiply it, and start a cell line. Isolating a cell and keeping it alive is the basic technique for cloning and in-vitro fertilization.
The Negative and Positive Affects of HeLa Cells on Medicine and Technology
By Jane Stephens P.3

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black women who was diagnosed with cervical-cancer in 1951. Before she passed, scientist took a sample of her cells without her consent. Those cells, now named HeLa cells, ended up being the first immortal human cell line and have led to great medical and technological advancements.
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