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In 1951, a young mother named Henrietta Lacks died from a particularly virulent strain of cervical cancer. Today cells harvested from her body are still alive and used in medical research. Her cells, coined HeLa cells, were key to developing the polio vaccine, understanding cancer, and revealing the effects of the atom bomb. However, for decades after her death, no one knew her name and her family had no idea of the contribution their mother had made to medical science. Author Rebecca Skloot seamlessly weaves together the tale of Henrietta’s medical nightmare, the legacy of healthcare for African-Americans, and the science of HeLa cells. A world of medical ideas is brought to light through the story of Henrietta Lacks. This book is nearly impossible to put down. Read an excerpt here (an even longer excerpt can be found here) and if you are hooked, this might be the summer reading book for you.