The immortal life of henrietta lacks kindle,christian meditations for the new year 5775,the secret devilchan tv tropes - Reviews


Once scientists knew how many chromosomes people were supposed to have, they could tell when a person had too many or too few, which made it possible to diagnose genetic diseases.
This book touched me deeply as a woman living with Turner syndrome, a researcher, and a research participant. As a woman living with Turner syndrome, I am reminded every day of physical realities of our bodies. As a research participant, I have felt the tension that exist between science and the emotional and physical investment research requires of participants. While she sorted through the pile, as though she was saying something as everyday as It's supposed to rain tomorrow, Deborah said, "Scientists do all kinds of experiments and you never know what they doin.
I started saying it was just Henrietta's cells scientists had cloned, not Henrietta herself. Deborah realized Jurassic Park was science fiction, but for her the line between sci-fi and reality had blurred years earlier, when her father got that first call saying Henrietta's cells were still alive twenty-five years after her death. Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine for up to 72% OFF what others pay on the newsstand — that's like getting 19 FREE issues!
Researchers world-wide would begin identifying chromosomal disorders, discovering that patients with Down Syndrome had an extra chromosome number 21, patients with Klinefelter syndrome had an extra sex chromosome, and those with Turner syndrome lacked all or part of one.
I was diagnosed at 15, I am now 41 and have been thoroughly studied by researchers at the National Institutes of Health. Because of having Turner syndrome, I thought my heart might be pumping blood the wrong direction as the result of a defect in my aorta. Her story reminds me of the power of story to document, inform, and provide insight into experience. My wide-awakeness project is to be closer to presence, gratitude, compassion, and courage with each day. But Deborah waved her hand in my face, shushing me like I was talking nonsense, then grabbed a videocassette and held it up for me to see. Deborah knew her mother's cells had grown like the Blob until there were so many of them they could wrap around the Earth several times. It is estimated that only about 1% of fetuses with only one X chromosome survive to term and that approximately 10% of all miscarriages are due to Turner syndrome. Several questions must be continually asked by the research community to honor research participants.
There were videotapes, a tattered English dictionary, a diary, a genetics textbook, many scientific journal articles, patent records, and unsent greeting cards, including several birthday and Mother's Day cards she'd bought for Henrietta. The Watch OWN app is free and available to you as part of your OWN subscription through a participating TV provider. It is an historical record of cellular research as seen through the example of Henrietta Lacks’ cells.
None of the Lacks family ever financially benefited from Henrietta’s cells, though the research community saw fortunes made. In weight, they now far surpassed the person of their origin and there would probably be more than sufficient to populate a village of Henriettas." The writer joked that Henrietta should have put ten dollars in the bank in 1951, because if she had, her clones would be rich now. On page 261, Deborah and Zakariyya visit Lengauer’s lab and see the cells for the first time.
None of the Lacks family ever really found medical benefit either because they never had consistent insurance or resources to allow for medical care. How is their interaction with Lengauer different from the previous interactions the family had with representatives of Johns Hopkins?
In 1956, as a result of studying Henrietta Lacks’ cells, scientists were able identify 46 chromosomes in the human cell (prior to that, they thought there were 48).
I would not know the reality of my physical condition until my experience at the National Institutes of Health at the age of 37. Does the research participant truly understand they have the ability to leave the work at any time?
As a woman living with Turner syndrome, I understand my story a bit better through the lens of her immortal life.
Consider the progression of Henrietta’s cancer in the last eight months between her diagnosis and death. I did my MFA in nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh, and Lee Gutkind, who was one of my professors there, taught a readings class where he constantly harped on structure. Henrietta’s story resonated with me in that she too was young to be confronted with the limitations of the human body.
What does the way Deborah and Zakariyya interact with their mother’s cells tell you about their feelings for her?
Every class, the first exercise we had to do with every piece we read was map out the structure. As a result of my diagnosis, I was immediately treated with hormone replacement therapy and bone density medication.
Her story was different in that she had to endure unimaginable pain, and ultimately leave her family far too soon, but receiving a diagnosis for a chronic or fatal condition shapes how you see the world. The first day of class we read an essay in class and his first question when we were done was, “What’s the structure of this piece?” We had no idea what he meant. Perhaps the research journey to identifying 46 chromosomes could have taken a different turn, and Turner could have taken a different path to identifying missing sex chromosomes, but the author of this book was suggesting a direct path between me and Henrietta. When I started teaching I made my students do the same thing.Any student who has ever studied with me would think, “Ugh.


I think Zakariyya still had anger towards the people at Johns Hopkins even though Christoph Lengauer was thankful to the Lacks family. Thus, he could not open his mind to Christoph, and he had that reaction when Christoph wanted to shake hands. First, Christoph brought them in the freezer room and he showed how to store Henrietta’s cells.
When Deborah and Zakariyya watched Henrietta’s cells, they were interested and curious. But once you really pick it apart you see he starts in the middle of the story, then he goes forward for a while, then loops back around so by the middle of the piece you’re back at the point where you started, then you continue forward. He’s so subtle and graceful with the structure that few readers even realize they’ve looped back around to the point where the story started because he doesn’t hit you over the head with it. If you learn the story of the HeLa cells by itself, it’s a very different story than if you learn it alongside the story of what happened to Henrietta and her family as a result of those cells.
Finally, Christoph taught Deborah and Zakariyya how to use the microscope, and then they could see their mother’s cells under the microscope.
Then Deborah, Henrietta’s daughter, would have appeared about halfway through the book and the focus of the story would have suddenly shifted completely to her, since she’s really the main character of the book in many ways. It would have all been very disjointed and disorienting and wouldn’t have worked.The other thing I knew was that I wanted my book to read like a novel but be entirely true.
As soon as I realized I had to structure the book in a disjointed way, I went to a local bookseller, explained the story to her and said, Find me any novel you can find that takes place in multiple time periods, with multiple characters and voices, and jumps around a lot.
I also read a lot of important African American authors to immerse myself in their voices, cultures, history: Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Alex Haley, Ida B.
Doing that lets readers know what to expect and gives you license to play with the structure and timeline because you’ve prepared them for it. Then right after that I have that one little page in Deborah’s voice, to get her firmly in there. I knew she had to be in the beginning of the book so you’d know she was going to be a main, strong character. I made countless attempts at that using different scenes from late in the story (for a while the book started with the scene of her seeing her mother’s cells for the first time, which is now part of the climax of the book in the third section). But none of that worked because it detracted too much from the real beginning: the moment Henrietta walks into the hospital for the first time in 1951. Eventually I realized readers just need to hear Deborah’s voice enough at the start to know there’s something big coming from this person later on that we’ll come back to.Back to the larger structure. You start at 1950, and you pop back to 1920, and then essentially you come back to mid-century, end of century, mid-century, end of century, mid-century, end of century. And you progressively spend more time around 2000, and at a certain point it becomes more the story of you and Deborah, once you have the backstory established. Having one chronological story helped anchor the structure so I could jump around with the other stories more, because you always came back to that one straightforward narrative.As I said earlier, I saw the structure of the book as a braid, with three stories that wove and wove and wove. But at a certain point the three strands of the braid became one and the narrative was just a straightforward chronological story from that point. I thought a lot about that element of narrative tension and how structure can help build the suspense. As I was watching it, I just freaked out because after the first few scenes I realized, Oh my God, this is the structure of my book.
So I storyboarded that whole movie frame-by-frame on color-coded index cards (one color per narrative thread). I’d already mapped my own book out using the same three-colored index card scheme, and I’d mapped out a structure, but it wasn’t working. I immediately realized the problem with my structure was that it didn’t move around in time fast enough. That was the big lesson I learned from movies: that to make this kind of structure work, it has to move quickly.
You can’t linger too long in any one time period or you lose the momentum of the other two.How many designs did you try but throw out?Oh man … From the very first version I wrote to the first version I considered a first draft, I probably went through easily 15 different structures. Once I had a first draft done, I rewrote it completely at least six times before my editor had to pry it out of my hands. There isn’t a single paragraph from the first draft that made it into the final book without being rewritten. You’ve talked before about your decision to put yourself in the book as a presence, a character. What were the arguments in your own head, either as you saw them then or as you see them now, against and for putting yourself in?Well, for me the argument for years was all against. I think a lot of potentially great stories out there have been damaged and in some cases ruined by a writer not being able to step out of the story and let the story happen. This and other photos Skloot took at Courtney Speed’s hair salon enabled her to describe the scene in which she visits the salon. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Skloot.There are times when I think writers should be in stories. You may be an actual character in the story, or you might be essential as a bridge between the reader and the story—there are some cases where stories are so foreign to readers that having a first person writer in the middle that fully understands the story can help readers relate to it. I wrote a story for The New York Times Magazine about people who spent tons of money on veterinary care for their goldfish; I put myself in there as a sort of sympathetic bridge toward understanding the people I was writing about. Most readers could relate more to me in that story (someone trying to understand why anyone would do MRIs and CT scans and surgery on a goldfish), than they could to the people I was writing about.


Pretty early on, when I was struggling with this, I knew this wonderful fiction writer named Albert French who lived right around the corner from me in Pittsburgh. I realized I had to figure out why they were so resistant to me and that doing so would lead me to the real story. Skloot says, “This is the door where Henrietta used to sit and hang her legs off a stoop while churning butter.
I would come home and tell my family and my agent and my friends about what was going on and they just kept saying, “This has to be in the book! You’re just as much a part of this story as anybody else now.” That’s when I realized I had to be in the book because I was part of the story. I was one in a long line of people who’d come to them wanting something having to do with those cells, and in some ways, my presence in their lives was one of the most complicated yet: I was there for more than a decade, exposing Deborah to situations and information she never would have been exposed to.
She wanted that, and I couldn’t have stopped her once we started, but some of those situations turned out to be dangerous for her. She came very near a stroke at one point because of information we found together about her sister.A foundation corner of the Home House. This photo helped Skloot document building materials and construction of the house, which was propped up with stones high off the ground. She took many photos of the Home House, from different angles and at different times of year. But overall, it’s also about unintended consequences: of doctors, of well-intended science, of journalism. I tell the story of all the other journalists who came along before me and the impact they had on the family.
Eventually I realized it would be dishonest to not include the story of my own character, the journalist who came and didn’t leave for ten years. I was conscious of it only in that I was constantly arguing with my younger self.How do you mean?Throughout the book I was learning how to be a reporter and how to write. I started fresh from an undergraduate biology degree with no real training in journalism and no clue about how to do any of this. I sat down ten years later to write that scene (a scene I hadn’t planned to write because I wasn’t planning to be in the book), and I opened the notebook and thought, “That’s all you wrote down? What were you doing?” My version of notes of the street where I was driving would be: “Dog. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Skloot.The thing that saved me was that I took compulsive amounts of photographs. I would go back to the people who were there at the time and interview them about scenes that I had actually witnessed myself, to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.
Listening to these tapes later, it really registered, “Wow, you were doing something sort of crazy right there.”Right. I needed all that time to really understand the story and how it all fit together.Your enmeshment within the family kind of goes against a journalistic idea about involvement and distance from subjects and so on. So no matter how close and enmeshed I got with the Lacks family, there was never any question that I was a reporter.
Deborah would call me “her reporter,” and I think that in part was because I was constantly reminding her that’s what I was. I always had my notepad out and my tape recorder on because I felt like it was essential to have that constant reminder there: everything we talked about was going on the record. When she had a point to make that she felt strongly about, she’d grab my tape recorder out of my hand and yell into the microphone, then she’d have me play it back for her so she could make sure it got recorded. There was never any question about our relationship being reporter and subject, and that I wasn’t just there to do an as-told-to story of the Lacks family’s life.
We talked a lot about the other people I interviewed and research I did because I felt it was important to always be clear that I was telling all sides of this story, not just theirs. Which is what Deborah wanted anyway, so that was never an issue.That said, I do feel like you have to open yourself up to the emotions of the story and be vulnerable as well. I feel like, I’m asking you endless questions and expecting you to answer them no matter how personal; it’s only fair that you be able to do the same to me. His e-book My Mother’s Lover, published by The Atavist, was a #1 Kindle-Single bestseller.
The return to a central event made it that much more compelling and lent itself beautifully to the narrative. And she started talking about how she would call around the person she wanted to talk to – their aunt, cousins, employer, whatever.
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