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Henrietta Lacks was a black woman who lived in Maryland. She developed cancer and was treated at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The doctor who did the biopsy gave some of the tissue to a cancer researcher at the hospital. In experiments most cells die after a while, but Henrietta's cells continued to live and grow. Among other things they were used to develop the polio vaccine, to grow corneas for transplants, and for cancer research. For twenty years her family did not know their mother's cells were being used in research. Pharmaceutical companies have made millions of dollars using her cells. The family received no benefit from their mother's contribution.