HeLa- Nicole B.

The fifth chapter of Rigor Mortis by Richard Harris called Trusting the Untrustworthy talks about the creation of HeLa. HeLa is a immortal cell line that kept dividing and proliferating indefinitely. It all started in 1994, when Nina Desai and her colleagues announced the creation of a new tool that produced test-tube babies. They describe them as an isolated line of human cells from a woman’s womb and coaxed them to grow perpetually. Overall this line of human cells would help woman during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the research and experiment didn’t come out the way Nina Desai was hoping. As the cell line keep growing and became immortal it showed a sign that there was something more than what she thought.

Another test that Richard Harris talked about was breast cancer. They captured breast cancer cells in order to cultivate them in the laboratory. Successfully they found 19 different breast cancer cells in the petri dish between 1973 and 1978. They later used in on mice to see how would the breast cancer cells react and to see if they same thing that happened in the human body would happen to the rat. The breast cancer cells spread through the rat the same way it does in the human body. This study showed not only the way breast cancer spreads through the body and how it works, but it demonstrated how rats and humans are the same. But i disagree with that statement as well as Richard Harris does because even if were similar our body functions are way bigger than the rats and there could be other factors acting upon the system of the rat causing a different change than expected. Anyways scientist then realized that the breast cancer they found this time was not the same one the found last time. They realized they found Myeloma, this news was devastating to the scientist. They had spent all that time and it was all for nothing. Not only did they waste time, but they wasted resources and money.

In my opinion I think that it all comes back to the way the scientist did the procedure. I believe that if the tools they’re using aren’t sanitized correctly and other factors play a big part on the outcome of a study and definitely impact the result. I think that scientist should think about that more, as chapter 5 showed that the outcome they got as they tested breast cancer was not what they were hoping for. Overall this chapter showed how different research and studies are made and how the outcome scientist receive is not what they are hoping for or not expecting.

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