homepage
Skip to page body Home About Round Rock What's New City Services Library Parks & Recreation Departments
spacer
Round Rock, Texas - Purpose. Passion. Prosperity.
spacer
  Click here to start search.
spacer
Calendar
Capital Improvement Program
City Focus video newsmagazine
City News
Emergency Management
eSubscription
Most Visited Pages
Online Survey
Public Notices
Upcoming Events
Community Links
spacer
 Calendar
Print  
This event has already occurred and is listed for archival purposes only.
Round Rock, Paper, Scissors Book Group
Non-fiction book group meets at the Library
 
Time:   2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Date: 2/12/2012  
Location: Round Rock Public Library
216 E. Main St., Round Rock, Texas  78664 (Map)
Cost: $0
 

Round Rock, Paper, Scissors Book Group meets on the second Sunday of every month to discuss a chosen book. February's meeting will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12.

February's book selection is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

From publisher's description:

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?

 
For more information, please contact Kate Jarboe.
Add to my calendar »

spacer
spacer
City of Round Rock | 221 East Main Street, Round Rock, Texas 78664 | Phone: (512) 218-5400
©2014 City of Round Rock. All Rights Reserved. | Customer Survey | Site Map | About this website