HeLa cells, fluorescent light micrograph. The cell nuclei contain the genetic material chromatin (dark blue). The green strands are the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton by which a cell can form rigid structures when required. HeLa cells are the first human cell line, established in 1952 to research cancer. They were obtained from the cervix of Henrietta Lacks (after whom the cells are named) from Baltimore, USA, in 1951, who died of cervical cancer eight months later. HeLa cells thrive unusually well in the laboratory, and are used in research worldwide. Magnification: x670 when printed 10cm wide.
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