In this two-part activity, students examine living cervical cancer cells and chromosomes from a women named Henrietta Lacks who died over 60 years ago, hut whose cancer cells continued to divide and grow even after her death. Students then debate the legal and bioethical issues surrounding the use of her cells. This laboratory activity reinforces important introductory biology concepts such as mitosis and cancer. Once the students have experimented with Henrietta Lacks's cells, they feel connected to her story and passionate about exploring the science, legal, and racial issues surrounding the use of her cells.
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Vol. 73 • No. 6