Immortal Cells of Henrietta Lacks/HeLa

Immortal Cells of Henrietta Lacks/HeLa

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman whose cancer cells are the source of one of the most active and known cell lines.

These incredible cells— nicknamed “HeLa” cells, from the first two letters of her first and last names — are the first immortalized cell line and still one of the most important cell lines in medical research.

They even travelled by Russian Sputnik-1 to space in 1960 and to the Moon orbit by Sonde-5 in 1968.

— Read how John Hopkins hospital discovered the HeLa cell line at

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