The Smithsonian Unveils a Portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the Black Farmer Whose Cells Led to Medical Miracles

May 16, 2018

(CNN) – Her cells are responsible for the polio vaccine, gene mapping and in vitro fertilization to name a few. But for a long time most of the public didn’t know her contribution to modern medicine. Neither did she because her cells were harvested without her consent.  This week, the Smithsonian unveiled a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black tobacco farmer who ended up changing the world. Her cells have allowed for advances in cancer treatment, AIDS research, cloning, stem-cell studies and so much more.

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