Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Henrietta's cells, and a sad anniversary.

America owes us so much and there are still some folks who refuse to show us any love. I am thinking about Henrietta Lacks and her incredible contribution to health and science. If you are reading this and you have never heard of her you should be ashamed of yourself.

But take heart, hopefully after reading this post you will be able to show off your Henrietta Lacks knowledge to your friends.

"When Henrietta Lacks was stricken with an aggressive cancer more than 60 years ago, doctors who treated her at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore took cells from her tumor without her permission or knowledge, as was common practice at the time. They soon learned that the cells were just as aggressive in a laboratory dish. Instead of dying quickly as previous cell lines had, they kept replicating at an astonishing rate, earning them the label “immortal” and making them immensely valuable to any scientist who wanted a stable base for experiments.

The cells, called HeLa cells, are ubiquitous in labs around the world and have been used in more than 74,000 research studies on almost every disease. The cells have helped researchers develop a polio vaccine and gain insights into cell biology, in vitro fertilization, and cancer, among other advances.
The enduring constant in this saga has been the cavalier treatment of the Lacks family by medical researchers. Neither Ms. Lacks nor others in her family were told that extracting cells from her tumor (and later taking cells from some of her relatives) was not being done for their benefit but for the benefit of science.
That condescending attitude changed last week when the National Institutes of Health announced an agreement with the Lacks family that will restrict N.I.H.-financed research on the genome of HeLa cells (not the use of HeLa cells in experiments) and place two family members on a committee to approve such research.
The family was especially concerned that publishing the full genomic sequence of HeLa cells would violate its privacy by revealing abnormalities in genes that could be transmitted to later generations. Although the deal does not apply to projects not funded by N.I.H., the agency hopes all researchers will honor it." [Source]
Taking this woman's cell for 62 years without her permission was not cool. And using her cell to replicate an endless cell line which is now being used all around the world is definitely not cool.
The thing is, knowing black folks the way that I do, all they had to do was ask.
Finally, since we are talking about History, on this day in 1906, African American soldiers stationed in Brownsville, Texas got into it with the locals of that town.
Read up on what happened in Brownsville and tell me if you think the actions of President Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft were that of honorable men, and why so little is known about this sad chapter of American history.   


Anonymous said...

Why should Blacks know anything about Henrietta Lacks? There has been no headlines about her or much news in the media. Nor any books written about her. So why should we know much about her?

Anyway, it's nice to know that Whites want to give Henrietta 'something' back, even though they didn't have to. It shows Whites do have a good conscience and I thank Field for showing this moral goodness about them. It proves their divinity.

Anonymous said...

Field, I am going to do you a favor. I am going to contact O'Reilly and tell him about you and see if he'll invite you on his show. I think it would be big entertainment watching the Factor vs FN. It'll be fun watching him tear your blackass limb from limb.

Are you up for going on the Factor? It'll be interesting to see what a Jamaican blogger can do against a kick-ass Irishman. I really don't think it will be much of a fight, do you?.

PS. If I were you, I'd take Whitey with me as back up because you're going to need all the help you can get.lol

I also would recommend you take BlackIsBeautiful but I have the feeling he doesn't want to go anywhere with you.lol

Anonymous said...

Let's just say "her incredible contribution to health and science" is typical of the African-American community.

No that wasn't a compliment and I couldn't make a joke as funny as the one where people think she deserves praise and reparations because of a mutated tumor.

Goes to show how racist the black community is when they feel the need praise a tumor because it came from a black person.

Cancer effects everyone, but let's just make it a race issue.

patsy said...

anonymous, I never heard such garbage as you spew, why shouldn't fields mention the facts about HeLa cells and the fact she was black.
I have known about this woman and her cancer cells for several years but didn't know she was a negro.
anyway you make me sick Mr. anonymous.

Anonymous said...

dear field, i am confused. is it appropriate to call African Americans 'Negroes'? Seriously, i'd like to know what's right. anybody may respond...thank you.

Anonymous said...

anon, I have heard of teachers getting in trouble for using the word Negro. My experience with this word is some Blacks are offended by it, and others are not. Some Blacks use it to describe themselves, and others don't. It's hard to know because Blacks themselves aren't sure.

field negro said...

"kick-ass Irishman", is that what they are calling hypocrites on television these days?

Got news for you, i was asked to go on his network (not his show) turned them down. Why? Because I don't want some of that stupid to rub off on me.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr Field, I see your cousin Hugh Douglas was fired from ESPN on Tuesday for hurling FN epitaphs and threatening his ESPN co-host Smith, who is Black. He called Smith an uncle tom, and a HN and threatened to beat his ass.

Tell me, Mr. Field, why is there so much violence in our race? Is any AA safe from each other? I even read a comment by you that you would go Jamaican 12 on somebody here. My brother, it is just dangerous to be a bm today. If the wm doesn't shoot you, the bm will.

I really wish you would start talking about this violence, which permeates our race at all levels. I mean, no one is safe, period. This is a terrible, terrible mess in our community. Yet, you talk about Alexis or something that happened in Texas years ago that is totally 'unrelated' to our situation of doom today.

You need to go see "The Butler" and learn how it feels to be a bm. But you won't....because..whatever. you always have an excuse to NOT show up for us, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Field, "Got news for you, i was asked to go on his network (not his show) turned them down. Why? Because I don't want some of that stupid to rub off on me."

Yeah, right. You never cease to amaze me with the opportunities you claim you turned down. You aren't very adventurous are you? No risk, no gain in life, Mr. Field.

Be bold and courageous. Mr Field, you can't make it through life the life of a coward. That is NOT living. So many of our folks are so fearful...FEAR ROBS YOU OF OPPORTUNITIES. To be on FOX is a great opportunity and a great experience. Mr Field, you are just too afraid.

Nan said...

Anon @10:24, apparently you don't pay much attention to what people are actually reading. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks came out in 2010 and continues to be widely read. It's still in the top 100 sellers on Amazon.

Anonymous said...

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks? I never heard of it. Top 100 sellers on Amazon? that's a laugh.

Anonymous said...

"America owes us so much and there are still some folks who refuse to show us any love"

What do we owe America? did you ever think of that? We owe America and ourselves to end the violence in our community and the wholesale births of children without fathers or mothers with any skills in parenting.

And this thing called Love? Hell, Field, we don't even love ourselves. How can you expect others to love us? We have to be lovable in order to be loved. Our sorry state of affairs among us does not attract love, it repels...it precipitates rebuke and disgust.

We have a very long way to go, and I am not sure if we have the internal fortitude or the will to clean up our mess: OOW, black-on-black killings, black-on-black crime, illiteracy, lack of parenting, joblessness, lack of interest in education, drugs, violence...we have a lot to contend with and there doesn't seem to be anyone who's willing to lead.

With the exception of Tavis and Cornel, our black civil rights leaders and our political leaders are a sham. They both prey on us for their own personal gains. They don't give a damn about us.

You really need to blog about this crisis in our community and danger of our extinction...much like Native Indians.

Dr.Nǚwáng said...

When I first started working with HeLa cells in the 80's the story I was told was that they were named after a white woman named Helen Lane. It wasn't until the early 90's that I learned of the true origin of this cell line.

Ironically, the book about Henrietta Lacks was written by a white woman. And YES, I do believe the Pharmaceutical Industry ( AKA death Pharma) owes her family at least 1 billion in compensation for the trillions they've made from discoveries made through the use of her cells.

Great story Field!!!

Anonymous said...

Dr Nuwang, thanks for your comment. In the past, I had heard about HeLa cells and assumed they were discovered and patented by Whites and Pharmaceutical Cos. The truth is, Whites have claimed it, and made and will continue to make trillions off of the HeLa Cell. Historically, it's nothing new that Blacks are not given credit for anything of value. Whites TAKE IT, and claim it for their own.

The more I look at American history, the less I like Whites. Their history is the epitome of unconscionable acts from slavery, rape, terrorizing, hangings, theft, liars, Jim Crow, to present. What's amazing about Blacks is we want to emulate them by doing some of the same evils to ourselves.

I often wonder about goodness and fairness in humans...where is it? It just seems that evil triumphs over good, over and over again....Makes me wonder why anyone would want to be good. It's the weak side of humanity.

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like fn fans aren't interested in Henrietta Lacks or what happened to Negroes in Texas. So much for black history, eh?

Negroes aren't interested in their history, Field...get it? You should know that by now.lol

Post something about some White dude and you will get more hits than expected. Try O'Reilly, or FOX NEWS, that always get their interests. Granny will be the first to analyze them.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, The Butler opens this Friday, 8/18. You will learn history and the plight of Blacks during the Jim Crow era where Whites could shoot Blacks without any consequences whatsoever.

Forrest Whitaker is an excellent actor, one of the best.

Anonymous said...

Wow! ESPN just stole Whitlock from FOX Sports. Whitlock is the greatest sportscaster and writer of all time. Congratulations to ESPN. Your ratings just went up!

focusedpurpose said...

this o'reilly worship has me needing a 'in this world, but not of it, take 2" moment.

this is for those that can't see o'reilly for what he is...

it is also for the Anon(s) a couple of threads back. consult defeated captain satan...then see me, if you feel up to the project. how hard you come will let me know how much damage i am doing. i aim to do much damage...so let's go!

folks wrote a song about it. pay close attention to the lyrics and know it applies to more than the record industry:


if you got questions as to where i am coming from...go here:


i took time to break it down from a Scripture and secular pov.

for the kids! for the kids! LOL.

time to man, woman, and wake UP!

focusedpurpose said...


why could you not just share the info without the nastiness, man?

why would folks be 'ashamed' when they are being kept in the dark about MUCH?

IF bfolks would wake the hell up, our enemies robbing us of our wealth would have no choice but to stop. it is ALL written.

get familiar with Scriptures people. folks want everything but what they need for the answer.

do we know that the US does not consider prophecy in what is going down...yet other nations do?

america has rotten karma man. since blackish bo is in office...folks feel comfortable bringing their disdain with this corrupt masonic/demonic 'republic' morphed into a 'democracy'...of course all fake to the core...to black folks. this african sister disrupted my sushi night with her misdirected anger when the convo became political.

i go silent whenever i feel the strong desire to invite folks to go back to where ever they belong when they have too much to say to me about us policy. as if i direct it. or the american masses for that matter.

the GIANT white lie WILL be revealed...FN it might help if you take no digs the next time as you do your part.

i am watching you, man. lol.

Anonymous said...

"i am watching you, man. lol. "

Thank goodness there are folks out there watching Field and his knuckle balls.

MilagrosGVillamil Esq. said...

Hotep Field:

For yrs we have had the info about sistah henrietta Tha nks to the Alafia
Now about the Pres
This Pres is just about the most arrogant reckless and insidious whack job who has ever rested his head in a tax payer mattress in my 6 time BarNone

What Afrikan with any iota of knowledge of the Afrikan struggle would have the audacity to allow the jewsih lobbyist to PIMP him?

Like Ishmael Reed has so eloquently said

Obama comes from the Democratic Leadership Council, which was organized to stop Jesse Jackson and to distance the party from African-American issues. That’s his background.
Reed goes on to say that Obama doesn’t speak much about racism because he’s a member of a privileged class:

He’s the leader of the post-race generation, the privileged members of the African-American elite. Racism hasn’t affected them as much as it has affected other people. Obama goes along with this Democratic Leadership Council attitude toward black people that says that part of the problem so-called underclass blacks have is a result of their personal behavior, not structural racism.
But Reed doesn’t let white racism off the hook, saying racism may eventually be this country’s undoing:

The president is like that Catholic priest in The Exorcist: as a result of his presidency, all the demons of American racism are rising from the sewer. I was born in the South. My grandfather was stabbed to death by a white restaurant owner in 1934, and the doctor treating my grandfather said: “Let that nigger die.” When I hear people like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell talk, I think of night riders, nooses, and bloodhounds. They will never cooperate with a black man in that office. If you look at blogs where people can make comments about the president anonymously, you can see the sickness in the American soul. White racism may one day prove to be the country’s downfall.
As far as Obama’s duplicity is concerned, Reed noted that Obama has judged Hispanics and Blacks by two very different standards:

He scolded one black group about out-of-wedlock births, even though such births have plummeted since 1976. He then went before a Hispanic group and told them that they’re what America is all about— when there are more out-of-wedlock births among Hispanics per thousand than among blacks.
Reed also called President Clinton one of the worst presidents in history for black people because of welfare reform– which threw many blacks into poverty– drug laws enacted during his administration, and the foreclosure crisis caused by Clinton’s deregulation of the banks.

Now anonymous are you still trying to get your loverman sissy pregnant Try this try finding an man with a big penis or at least one which does not do back flips Entiendes? jajajajajaja

MilagrosGVillamil Esq. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MilagrosGVillamil Esq. said...

MilagrosGVillamil Esq

FN Imagine this

Now if the US Gov wants to create a problem this one will only get worse
The Asians top the US in all arenas and this potential confrontation will result more than an Arab Spring! I dare wimp Pres Obama to do or say anything smh!


MilagrosGVillamil Esq. said...

Hey FN: Enter The 7th Alafia

Making it plain and keeping it in the face of creepy crakkas wanna be Afrikans and house negros

And to, add to this i would like to add this URL for those without knowledge of our sister
http://henriettalacksfoundation.org/ You cannot top this!
With this: http://www.amazon.com/Emperor-All-Maladies-Biography-Cancer/dp/1439170916/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376651413&sr=1-1&keywords=emperor+of+all+maladies

There are several books of a similar context and one is called Emperor of maladies (depicted above) This was written to hide the GOV desire to hide Henriettas story and to appear as if the US was the first.
Because of her i have been a survivor for over 15yrs without chemo or radiation! Why is that?>
We decided to follow the Orishas mandate and leave western med alone!
And to those who have not been here or done this you have no comments worth responding to
And this is even if its a loved one who is affected Entiendes? So please do not let me have to return and smack you down

We as survovirs who go through are the only ones who know the way out!

For sure many educ Afrikans have known of Henrietta for yrs albeit its the US GOC who did not want this info out?
However Dr FC Welsing spoke to us about her in the 70's

See creepy crakkas we can read now

About The Henrietta Lacks Foundation
News alert: Read about The Henrietta Lacks Foundation and its grants given to date in the New York Times here: “Returning The Blessings of An Immortal Life: Rebecca Skloot Seeks to Help Henrietta Lacks’s Descendants”. Also see: First Henrietta Lacks Foundation Grants Awarded

As of June 6, 2013 the Board of Directors of the Henrietta Lacks Foundation has awarded 43 grants. Thirty-one grants were for tuition and books, ten were for medical or dental aid, and two were for other emergency needs.

MilagrosGVillamil Esq. said...

LOL if ya did not know ya know now BIG TIME

YES!!!! Thanks Field!


Aug. 7, 2013 at 1:55 PM ET

This 1940s photo made available by the family shows Henrietta Lacks. In 1951, a doctor in Baltimore removed cancerous cells from Lacks without her kno...
Cells taken from Henrietta Lacks, shown in the 1940s, eventually helped lead to a multitude of medical treatments. But neither she nor her family gave consent.
Over the past six decades, huge medical advances have sprung from the cells of Henrietta Lacks, a poor, African-American mother of five who died in 1951 of cervical cancer. But Lacks never agreed that the cells from a biopsy before her death taken could be used for research. For years, her own family had no idea that her cells were still alive in petri dishes in scientists' labs. They eventually learned they had fueled a line called HeLa cells, which have generated billions of dollars, but they didn't realize until this spring that her genome had been sequenced and made public for anyone to see.

On Tuesday, the National Institute of Health announced it was, at long last, making good with Lacks' family. Under a new agreement, Lack's genome data will be accessible only to those who apply for and are granted permission. And two representatives of the Lacks family will serve on the NIH group responsible for reviewing biomedical researchers’ applications for controlled access to HeLa cells. Additionally, any researcher who uses that data will be asked to include an acknowledgement to the Lacks family in their publications.

The new understanding between the NIH and the Lacks family does not include any financial compensation for the family. The Lacks family hasn’t, and won’t, see a dime of the profits that came from the findings generated by HeLa cells. But this is a moral and ethical victory for a family long excluded from any acknowledgment and involvement in genetic research their matriarch made possible.

It took more than 60 years, but ethics has finally caught up to a particularly fast-moving area of science: taking tissue samples for genetic research. Thanks to the efforts of a dogged journalist, some very thoughtful science leaders in Europe and the U.S., and an ordinary family willing to learn about a complex subject and then to do the right thing to help you and me and our descendants, a long-standing wrong has now been fixed.

The news of the day is that the analysis of the genetic makeup of HeLa cells, the most useful cells used in all of biomedical research, has been completed. But the real news here is that medicine and science have finally done right by the person from whom those cells were taken—Henrietta Lacks.

MilagrosGVillamil Esq. said...


The 7th Alafia says
He got just what he wanted And i feel nothing
Jesse jr is a c;lassic example of what conscious Afrikans do not want or need A petty nickle and dime thug who stole spittle He would have been better of robbing BOA! smh!

Anonymous said...

FP, I love the way you break things down according to Scripture. It helps me and reminds me to stay "focused" on HIM. I admit that I haven't been able to do it all of the time but I AM getting better. Anyway, thanks for the Scripture lessons, I need them.

Anonymous said...

"Henrietta Lacks and her incredible contribution to health and science"

How moronic.

That's like giving credit to a lab rat.