Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who died at a young age of cervical cancer in 1951. Unbeknownst to her or her family, Johns Hopkins Hospital biopsied her tumor during her treatment there. While most human cells survive only a few days in the laboratory, Henrietta Lacks’ cells had a unique indestructible characteristic. Medical researcher Dr. George Otto Gey used her cells to create a strain known today as the HeLa cell line. Since its discovery and creation, researchers such as Jonas Salk have used the immortal HeLa cell line to transform medical science and discover treatments for a variety of diseases. The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is a fascinating read.
Sponsored by the Southeast Community Development Corporation, Nanook painted a new mural on the corner of Eastern Avenue and Grundy Street in Highlandtown. Nanook entitled the mural Frontera and explained