In the past sixty years, science has found cures for many diseases, and provided great medical advances. The polio vaccine, gene therapy, and a host of other amazing breakthroughs have dazzled the world. But what was the key that made these discoveries possible? In a word, HeLa. HeLa is the name of an immortal line of human cells first cultured in the 1950’s. But where did these cells come from? From a woman named Henrietta Lacks, a poor black tobacco farmer. And, for the author, it became imperative to tell not only the story of Henrietta, but also that of her family and the scientific advances HeLa cells made possible. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is part biography, part science journal, and totally absorbing.