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Historical marker.

Super Cells of Henrietta Lacks

Field review by the editors.

Clover, Virginia

2010 historical marker calls attention to Henrietta Lacks, an African-American and a complete nobody when she died of cervical cancer in 1951. Her cell tissue was extracted for medical research, without permission, which was typical for the time (today viewed as unethical and exploitative). The marker states that her cells survived and multiplied at an "extraordinarily high rate," becoming known as the "HeLa line," and regarded as the "gold standard" of cell lines. They were later used to develop the Salk polio vaccine. Lacks is buried nearby.

Henrietta's story was recounted in a 2010 book and then a 2017 movie, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, with Oprah Winfrey appearing as Henrietta's daughter.

Super Cells of Henrietta Lacks

US Hwy 360, Clover, VA
South of town, south side of US Hwy 360 just west of Va Rt. 720/92. Historical marker near the shoulder.
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