Black scientists and technicians, many of them women, used cells from a black woman to help save the lives of millions of Americans, most of them white. And they did so on the same campus—and at the very same time—that state officials were conducting the infamous Tuskegee syphilis studies.
Good science is all about following the data as it shows up and letting yourself be proven wrong, and letting everything change while you're working on it - and I think writing is the same way.
I learned about HeLa cells in my first basic biology class, and I just became completely obsessed with them from that point on.
The sort of thinking at the time was, 'Well, we're giving you access to medical care which you wouldn't otherwise be able to get, so your payment is that we get to use you in research.'
Like I'm always telling my brothers, if you gonna go into history, you can't do it with a hate attitude. You got to remember, times was different.
Only cells that had been transformed by a virus or a genetic mutation had the potential to become immortal.
But I tell you one thing, I don't want to be immortal if it mean living forever, cause then everybody else just die and get old in front of you while you stay the same, and that's just sad.
For scientists, growing cells took so much work that they couldn't get much research done. So the selling of cells was really just for the sake of science, and there weren't a lot of profits.
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