HeLa genome offers clues to cells’ cancerous nature

Genetic sequence published along with agreement to protect family’s privacy

By Cristy Gelling, 14:52 PM August 23, 2013

A detailed DNA profile of the world’s most widely used cancer cell line sheds light on the genetic chaos the cells use to grow virtually unchecked in laboratory cultures. That property may also explain their virulent growth in the woman who unwittingly left them to science.

The famous cells came from a biopsy taken in 1951, when Henrietta Lacks was dying from cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Although no one asked Lacks or her family for permission to perform experiments with the cell...

Source URL: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/hela-genome-offers-clues-cells’-cancerous-nature