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Henrietta Lacks is one of the most important figures in biomedical history, yet most of the world has never heard of her. In 1951, Lacks died of cervical cancer at the age of 31. After her death, scientists used her cancerous cells to create an immortal cell line known as HeLa. Researchers have used HeLa cells for myriad scientific innovations, including the polio vaccine, treatments for cancer and AIDS and the HPV vaccine that could protect other women from cervical cancer. Lacks died tragically young, but her legacy lives on and on.