Controversial ’HeLa’ Cells: Use Restricted Under New Plan
2013-08-09 0:00

By Wynne Parry | LiveScience

For decades, the immortal line of cells known as HeLa cells has been a crucial tool for researchers. But the cells’ use has also been the source of anxiety, confusion and frustration for the family of the woman, Henrietta Lacks, from whom the cells were taken without consent more than 60 years ago.

Now, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has brokered a compromise between the desire of the Lacks family for privacy and the interests of research, at least with regard to genomic sequence information taken from the cells, officials announced today (Aug. 7).


This picture shows HeLa cells growing in a lab dish, infected for the purposes of research with the pathogen that causes Chlamydia.

"In 20 years at NIH, I can’t recall a specific circumstance more charged with scientific, societal and ethical challenges than this one," said Francis Collins, NIH director, at a news conference earlier today.

According to the agreement reached with the family, researchers will need to apply for access to data on the HeLa genome sequence, and receive approval from a panel that includes members of the Lacks family, according to NIH Director Francis Collins and deputy director Kathy Hudson, who outlined the plan that appears tomorrow (Aug. 8) in the journal Nature. (The cells are code-named HeLa after the first two letters of Henrietta Lacks’ name.)


Henrietta Lacks
"For more than 60 years our family has been pulled into science without our consent and researchers have never stopped to talk with us to share information with us or give us a voice in the conversation about the HeLa cells until now,"Jeri Lacks-Whye, Lacks’ granddaughter, said during the news conference.

Lacks-Whye described the publication of the first HeLa genome paper under this new policy as a "historic, game-changing event." This paper is also published in Thursday’s issue of Nature.

The Lacks family has not received any financial compensation for the use of the cells, and the agreement will not change that.

[...]

Read the full article at: livescience.com



READ: Henrietta’s ‘Immortal’ Cells








Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Star Wars: DARPA's Death Ray Begins Testing
2015-05-27 20:29
The folly of science fiction is quickly becoming science fact. Watch a video of this report here: The U.S. government has given permission to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA for short, to begin field testing its High-Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS). Program manager Rich Bagnell said the solid-state laser has ‘unprecedented power and beam quality for its size‘. ...
Europe 2020
2015-05-27 4:13
YouTube Description: Europe is changing and not for the better. We can change this if we act now. Source: The European Guardian
Rome's Arch of Titus Now Represents a Jewish Triumph
2015-05-27 2:48
Though not on a par with the universally recognizable Colosseum, the Arch of Titus remains one of the most iconic relics from Rome's ancient imperial glory days. The grand arch is located just south-east of the Roman Forum (main center of ancient Rome). It was opened in 82 AD by the Roman Emperor Domitian, shortly after the death of ...
IQ, Psy Ops and the "Civilization" of the Scam
2015-05-27 2:27
Cognitive dissonance is the firewall that exists in most minds when confronted with a challenge to their basic beliefs about the world. As it is human nature to avoid admitting being in error or having been duped, for most humans the ego zealously flees the admission to oneself of significant error.Challenges to our worldviews or paradigms of belief are also ...
"Europe Could be Overrun with White South Africans"
2015-05-26 23:05
Edited by Red Ice Dear Madam Merkel: We want our brothers and sisters to come home! Hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Africans are pouring into Europe, stressing the economy and social services, causing insane rates of crime and threatening to crush society in its entirety. Arab Moslems also continue to pour in under the guise of "asylum” and are continuing to threaten ...
More News »