Henrietta is a black woman who develops cervical cancer in 1951. Without her knowledge or consent, some cancerous tissue is removed during radium treatments of her cancer, and this tissue become the first immortal cell line (cells maintained in culture forever). The cells were named HeLa cells after the first two letters of her first and last name. The book meticulously details the subsequent exploitation of Henrietta and her family, at a time when the ethics of human experimentation was not considered. An excellent historical story of exploitation and racism.