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Ethics and medical specimens
  1. Brandy Schillace

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On 1 August, it was announced that the family of Henrietta Lacks reached a settlement with the biotech company over non-consensual use of her cells. Most of us know the story very well already; Lacks died of cervical cancer in 1951; while still living, tissue from her body was taken without consent, and has since been used to create a cell line that reproduces itself outside the body (known as the HeLa cells). These have been used to develop everything from cancer treatments to vaccines, stem cell studies and genetic research. The case has …

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