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Any of the cells of the first continuously cultured human carcinoma strain, originally obtained from cancerous cervical tissue and maintained for use in biomedical research.
[From the first two letters of the first and last name of Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951), the American cancer patient from whom the cells were taken in 1951.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(or He′la or he′la) cell`(ˈhɛl ə)
a vigorous strain of laboratory-cultured cells descended from a human cervical cancer, used widely in research.
[after He(nrietta)La(cks), a patient from whom the cancer tissue was taken in 1951]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.