The ‘immortal cells’ of a woman changed the world
Henrietta Lacks died in 1951 from cancer. She was a young, black woman living in Baltimore. Before her death, a small amount of her cells was taken without her consent. These cells didn’t die. These cells continue to grow and reproduce today, unlike any other sample of human cell. HeLa cells were the first immortalised human cell lines and they have saved and created millions of lives since then. Video by Dan John Animation Lily Baker.