Published: October 25, 2019
Total Running Time: 00:03:52
Explore ethical and philosophical questions about the first "immortal" cell line with Exploratorium science writer Kevin Boyd.
As visitors examine a microscope view of living HeLa cells—the first “immortal” cell line—they explore ethical and philosophical questions about these historic and controversial cells.
HeLa cells can divide indefinitely, and helped revolutionize biomedical research. However, they also were taken by medical researchers without permission from Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman in the 1950s.
Are HeLa cells merely cells, or are they part of the self of Henrietta Lacks?