This is a fascinating book on the birth of modern medical research and the woman whose cells made it all possible. Henrietta Lacks was a poor African American woman that died of an incredibly aggressive form of cervical cancer at the age of 31. A biopsy of her cancer cells has become the basis for all cell research conducted since 1951, which enabled doctors to develop the polio vaccine and better treatments for cancer, but also opened a Pandora's box with regards to informed consent of the patient and the treatment of Mrs. Lacks' family, who was never notified that their mother's cells had become so important. Mrs. Lacks left behind five children who had very little memory of their mother and grew up in desperate poverty, while doctors and others made millions off of their mother's cells.I highly recommend this book - Rebecca Skloot's writing tells the story without being so technical that you can't follow the science, and also brings the human part of the story alive, both through detailing Henrietta's past and the issues that faced the family she left behind.