Henrietta Lacks is a Discoverer of HeLa Cells

The history of HeLa cells are that they were taken from an woman named Henrietta Lacks by Doctor Gey who took the samples from her cancer without consent from either her or her family. Gey was able to reproduce the cells in his lab where he was able to send them to other researchers across the world. Companies were able to take advantage of this and sells the cells to other labs making a lot of profit. The scientific impact was great one thing it talked about in the book was HeLa cells being painted using the FISH technique. HeLa cells were being tested for different things like its potential use in a cancer vaccine. The impact on the Lacks family was great as well because it caused fear of them being target by hospitals and researchers and hatred once they learned about the profits being made by the sale of HeLa cells meanwhile the family was barley scraping by having little money and not being able to afford basic things like healthcare. The HeLa cells displayed a moral/ethical dilemma in two ways one was the taking of the cells without consent and whether or not the Lacks family should’ve received some form of compensation for the sale of HeLa cells. My opinion is that consent should be given and some form of compensation to the Lacks family should have been given because the cells were not taken with consent.  The six characteristics of life are organization reproduction, growth & development, response, homeostasis, evolutionary adaptation, and energy utilization.

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The big picture processes within energy utilization is cellular respiration. Cellular respiration main goal is it form ATP which stores energy. The process of cellular respiration is broken down into 4 metabolic stages Glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, Krebs’s cycle, and electron transport chain. Glycolysis is the breaking down of sugar which generates 2 ATP for every 1 glucose. Pyruvate oxidation goes into the mitochondria and produces acetyl CoA and carbon dioxide. The acetyl CoA then enters the Krebs’s cycle. The point of the Kreb’s cycle is to split sugar, NADH, Split Pyruvate, break down acetyl CoA, and produce ATP. The electron transport chain strips the hydrogen off the NADH and FADH2. The electrons are then stripped from the hydrogen and H+ is sent to the outer membrane. Central Dogma is the process of transcription and translation. The structure of DNA is double stranded in the form of a double helix compared to RNA which is single stranded. The process of transcription is broken down into three parts Initiation, elongation, and termination. RNA polymerase are involved as enzymes during this process. DNA is transcribed into DNA by the RNA polymerase. The Process of translation is also broken down into initiation, elongation, and termination. During initiation ribosome attaches to RNA after 5 prime cap attaches to search for start codon AUG. Elongation is the process of adding amino acids to the growing polypeptide and termination is when the release protein attaches itself to the a site at the start codon. This supports the theory of common ancestry because it is said that life started as self generating RNA.   

Genes are passed on from parent to offspring during crossing over where chromosomes exchange parts of each other. The process of meiosis is the creation of haploids from diploids. Meiosis is broken down into meiosis I and meiosis II. Each goes through prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. Meiosis I deals with the joining of homologous chromosomes, the extraction of the homologous from themselves and the division of the cell. Meiosis II deals with lining up of the chromosomes, pulling the chromatids apart and division of the cell. Mendelian genetics talks about the genetic manipulation of the peas he used in order to get the desired trait that he was looking for. For example if he wanted to have a purple flower he would most likely want to segregate any plant with a different color flower to increase the probability it will have a purple flower if the trait for the purple flower is recessive. Mutations would arise if their is a change to a nucleotide which is point mutation or an addition of a new letter which is frameshift mutation.   One controversial topic that we covered in class is climate change.

The science behind the topic is that emission contributed heavily by humans will have devastating consequences in the future like rising sea levels due to the melting of large ice caps in areas like Greenland and Antarctica. Another thing it talked about is rising temperatures across the globe due to thing like deforestation and lots amount of CO2 being put into the air will cause more heat to be trapped in earth causing temperatures to rise. Also it is said the climate change will cause natural disaster like hurricanes to become in more powerful due to the oceans becoming warmer. I believe this is a controversial amongst the general public because of the major impact it will have in the future and people don’t want to realize either the future will have major problems or people don’t want to give up or change the standard of living they are accustomed to live. My opinion on the topic is that climate change is real due to all the data on the topic that I have seen and major changes need to be done at the individual and global level to lessen the impact it is going to have on the planet.   

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Henrietta Lacks is a discoverer of HeLa cells. (2022, Sep 05). Retrieved October 3, 2022 , from

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