New NIH resource celebrates Henrietta Lacks

By John Arnst, ASBMB Today

The Office of Science Policy at the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with the NIH library, recently launched a new interactive resource that honors Henrietta Lacks and the research legacy of the HeLa cells taken from her in 1951.

With the new timeline tool, users can explore the impact of HeLa cells — which have allowed researchers to develop the polio vaccine, explore the effects of radiation and space travel on human cells, determine how Salmonella cause disease, learn how cells age and understand the infectivity of Ebola and HIV, among countless other breakthroughs — over the past six decades.

Additionally, visitors can use an interactive map to visualize how the cells’ spread across the globe has transformed science in more than 140 countries, a relational chord to see the cells’ roles in every subtopic of cellular biology and an interactive graph to explore the sheer volume of publications involving HeLa cells — which now number more than 110,000.

To learn more about Lacks, read Arnst’s feature story
Sharing the whole HeLa genome.


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