Friday, March 16, 2012

Chapter 4: The Birth of HeLa

In this chapter the author tells us about the process of how HeLa cells came about. The cells got the name because Gey and his team take the first two letters of the patients first and last name to put on the label for each cell sample. Soon after Mary, an assistant in Gey's lab, put Henrietta's normal cells in a chicken-blood culture they died. However, the cancer cells grew with intense speed. Within 24 hours the amount of Henrietta's cancer cells doubled. Gey thought he finally had immortal cells and he shared them with a few of his closest colleagues.


  1. That is sad that her cells died and the cancer grew rapidly. It's also pretty scary that the cancer cells grew that fast. Ithought this was interesting but interesting can't wait to read more.

  2. That's a good way to name things, it seems easier to keep track of things that way. What did Gey's colleagues think of these "immortal cells" after he shared them?