Did John Hopkins let people outside of the university use the Hela cell-line that was isolated from an immortalised cervical cancer?

  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps more biology-inclined people know what those are, but I personally do not... Could you expound a bit on what those are and what they were used for? $\endgroup$
    – L.B.
    Aug 2 '16 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ The HeLa cell line is fairly famous - I think 'Hela cells' is enough to identify the line. The Wiki is here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HeLa $\endgroup$
    – bshane
    Aug 2 '16 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ If you are interested in learning more about HeLa cells, there is a very nice book : The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks which tells the story of life of Henrietta and also of the cells $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Aug 4 '16 at 2:43

Cultures of HeLa cells are used in many labs around the world, and were widely shared from very early on. From the Wiki:

In the spring of 1953, a cell culture factory was established at Tuskegee University to supply Salk and other labs with HeLa cells.

  • $\begingroup$ It may be worth noting -- since many non-biologists seem very unclear on this point -- that HeLa cells were not the first immortal cell line, and they have not been unique for many decades since there are now tens of thousands of human immortal cell lines $\endgroup$
    – iayork
    Aug 2 '16 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ But it should be noted that HeLa cell line is very easy to grow compared to other cell lines. In fact there was a period just after DNA finger printing became affordable, that researchers realized just how easier it was for HeLa to grow. Many cell lines turned out to be contaminated by HeLa or were HeLa (as the HeLa cell had outgrown the cells of the original cancer line). $\endgroup$
    – JayCkat
    Dec 21 '16 at 3:30

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