Thermo Fisher Scientific is a massively successful biotechnology company with $35 billion in annual revenue. However, Henrietta Lacks’ descendents say that a good portion of those profits are owed to them, and they are taking the company to court. Johns Hopkins took cells from Lacks, a Black woman, in 1951 without her permission, and those cells have made thousands of scientific and medical innovations possible. Thermo Fisher Scientific and many other companies have used HeLa cells to create their products, and they have nothing to compensate the family for their contributions.
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