The Basic Building Blocks Of Life Essay

1319 Words Jan 26th, 2016 null Page
Cells are the basic building blocks of life. They are the smallest structural unit in an organism, and the organism must continuously create more cells in order to live. New cells are created through a process called cell division, or mitosis, where one cell turns into two cells. This process is necessary for life, but occasionally the cells do not do what they are supposed to. Cancer is one example of cell malfunction. A DNA mutation can disrupt the genes in the cell and cause it to produce faulty proteins that control cell division. Cancerous cells ignore the normal signals that stop cell growth, so the abnormal cell begins to divide uncontrollably and produce a tumor. Cancer tumors can be either benign or malignant. Malignant tumors invade surrounding tissues and spread to other parts of the body. One form of cancer is a carcinoma, which originates in the epithelium, a layer of cells that line internal organs. The type of cancer Henrietta died from was carcinoma in the cervix, also called cervical carcinoma.
Dr. George Otto Gey was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went to school at the University of Pittsburgh, and then continued his education at Johns Hopkins University where he began intensive cancer research. At the time, scientists had trouble proving their discoveries because they had to do their tests on living cells, but the cells would die after being removed from the body if they did not have a replacement host body. Before taking tissue samples from…

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