Happy New Year! For the first episode of the Perpetual Notion Machine in 2017, we look into the topic of medical bioethics with a specific reference to the case of Henrietta Lacks. PNM’s Lincoln Tice learned about Henrietta Lacks from a recently published biography by Rebecca Skoot called The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Lacks was an African-American living a poor life as a tobacco farmer in the 1950’s when, without her knowledge, she became a subject of a research study. Cells were extracted, that later became known as HeLa cells, and used in experiments. They were the basis of some of biggest medical breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine. So, Lincoln talks with Curtis Ryals, a clinical bioethicist at the Medical College of Wisconsin. They discuss the ethics behind the Henrietta Lacks case, and the growth of bioethics in medical research.
About Perpetual Notion Machine
Perpetual Notion Machine is a look at contemporary scientific issues and discoveries in a way that is accessible, understandable and entertaining to the non-scientists of the listening community.