One of the most groundbreaking discoveries in the past century was a most peculiar phenomenon known as HeLa cells. While other cultured cells shortly died in a traditional lab setting, HeLa cells continued to multiply continuously, earning them the title of the first immortal cells. This gave scientists around the world the ability to conduct a variety of experiments that would lead to life-changing discoveries such as the polio vaccine and the study of HPV/HIV. However, few are aware of the woman behind the cells: a black tobacco farmer from Virginia named Henrietta Lacks.
Oak Park Library is currently closed and will re-open on Monday, Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.