Henrietta Lacks died of cancer in 1951 at age 31, not knowing that her cells would create the foundation for modern-day medicine and that her treatment would play a predominant role in the rise of medical ethics. During a hospital visit, doctors collected a tissue sample from Lacks without her consent. Biotech companies later went on to tremendously profit from Lacks’ cells without ever compensating her or her family. Sadly, this is one of many instances of blatant racism in the medical system, many of which do not receive nearly as much media attention.
Lab grown meat used to be something out of a science fiction movie, but Tufts has been at the forefront of progress to make it a reality. In 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture awarded Tufts a $10 million grant which helped found the Tufts University Center for Cellular Agriculture. The Center for Cellular Agriculture is a partnership across multiple different Tufts schools, with researchers who specialize in tissue engineering, nutrition and livestock. In October, the center announced the creation of the TUCCA Consortium, which will see Tufts partner with different companies and nonprofits to solve fundamental challenges in developing lab-grown meat.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three pioneering scientists for their work in a remarkable new area of research. The award was given to Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Barry Sharpless. Bertozzi is the first openly gay woman to win a Nobel prize, and this is Sharpless’ second Nobel prize, which makes him one of five people to have won twice.