HeLa Cells Essay

Submitted By ddollero
Words: 660
Pages: 3

HeLa Cells HeLa cells were initially developed to use for cancer research. However, after 50 years of research with HeLa cells science has found many different uses and discoveries while working with HeLa. Some cells have been center into space to find out if cancer can grow in that kind of environment, the answer is yes. Since HeLa cells started to multiply and provide scientists the ability to do research on them, they have been used in many different ways. Entire fields of study have been created from the discovery of the HeLa cell. The field of virology, which is the study of viruses, came to be after scientists infected HeLa cells with diseases such as mumps and measles. They wanted to observe what kind of affect the viruses would have on the cells. Because of these studies vaccines were created. Genetic medicine might not be possible without HeLa. Researchers discovered that cells’ chromosomes would become visible when combined with a specific stain. In the 1960’s the cells were fused with embryo cells from mice to create the first cell hybrid which led to researchers mapping the human genome (S. Freeman, 2012).

The most well-known use of HeLa involves a disease that has been eradicated in the Western hemisphere. Polio was on the rise in the early 1950’s, the US was stricken by fear of contracting this infectious disease that caused paralysis. Outbreaks were on the rise and there was a public outcry for scientists to come up with a vaccine. In 1952, Jonas Salk created a vaccine and part of his testing involved HeLa cells. The cells have also been used in studying tuberculosis, the human papillomavirus (HPV) and HIV. Researchers have used HeLa cells to test new medications created to treat cancer and Parkinson’s. HeLa cells have replaced animal testing cosmetic products (S. Freeman, 2012). The cells have been used to develop methods for determining the number of chromosomes in cells (beneficial for cancer research), to study the effects of radiation, to study the effects of deep sea pressure, HeLa is used in research on aging, and the list goes on. Every day scientists are using HeLa, they are coming up with new and innovative ideas on how they can continue to use HeLa cells to advance research and to continue to find new cures for diseases. HeLa cells have been brought in to help standardize procedures for growing and culturing cells (S. Freeman, 2012).
When Dr. Gey initially began sharing the cells he had to send them via air and there was a very short timeframe in which