Coyoty (coyoty) wrote,

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Weird science: One woman's cancer becoming new invading species.

It seems like something out of the X-Files, but cervical cancer cells taken from a woman who died from it in 1951 are growing out of control and contaminating medical labs all over the world.  The HeLa cells (named from their source, Henrietta Lacks, don't die, reproduce faster than even normal cancer cells, and behave so much like a self-sustaining organism that some scientists think they should be declared a whole new species.  There are now more HeLa cells spread around the world than Henrietta had cells.  They have become a labratorial weed, contaminating 10 to 20 percent of cell cultures.

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