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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Video of HeLa Cells Multiplying

“They kept growing like nothing anyone had seen, doubling their numbers every twenty-four hours, stacking hundreds on top of hundreds, accumulating by the millions…They grew twenty times faster than Henrietta’s normal cells…As long as they had food and warmth, Henrietta’s cells seemed unstoppable” (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, 40-41).

After this pivotal scene in Skloots’ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, George Gey goes on to tell his colleagues that he may have grown the first immortal cells.

If you haven’t seen HeLa cells in action yet, this YouTube video captures an important aspect of Rebecca Skloot’s book.