In 1951, Mrs. Henrietta Lack began to have vaginal hemorrhages, and decided to go to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. After performing some tests they found a tumor in the cervix. For a conclusive diagnosis, doctors performed a biopsy and sent samples for analysis.
Dr. George Otto Gey, who at this moment trying to find a cure for cancer, also received a small sample. His work focused on the possibility of growing human cells in the laboratory. Until then, it had been a normal human cell, in a suitable culture medium, divided about fifty times and later died. When the sample was analyzed Gey cell Mrs Lack, was surprised to see that its cells grow and divide continuously inside a test tube. He also discovered a cell line immortal.
Henrietta died in October 1951, after fighting against everything possible death. That same day Dr. Gey, without permission of Henrietta nor her family, the media showed their wonderful progress in cancer research, calling for the first time in these HeLa cells.
Since then, HeLa cells continued to divide and have been studied in laboratories around the world. Thanks to them have been carried out and thousands of research scientists have made great progress in the fight against cancer.
What do you know?
Try to answer the following qüestions:
B. What do you understand by “spontaneous generation”? When was “spontaneous generation theory” rejected by Scientists?
C. Name two inorganic molecules and two organic molecules. Which group do foods belongs to?
D. What are the three principal parts of an eucaryotic cell?
E. What type of reproduction is able to produce cells with half the chromosomes?