what if a scientist inhaled or swallowed HeLa cells, would they grow as a cancer within them?

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  • 8 years ago
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    HeLa cells are extremely potent and can travel through dust in the air. However, I'm not sure that scientists could get infected with HeLa cells if they reached the stomach. The acid in our stomach is very potent and would kill any HeLa cells that reached that point.

    However, if a scientist decided to infect him/herself via injection of HeLa cells into his or her arm with a syringe, tumors would appear at the site of infection. But if the scientist is healthy and not already immunosuppressed, his or her own body would reject the HeLa cells and ultimately destroy them.

    Hope this helped!

    Source(s): The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.
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  • 8 years ago

    HeLa cells are like normal cells. If brought out of their natural environment, they would die. If they were left sitting on the counter with no medium, they would die. If they were in the air, they would die. So if the scientist is inhaling dried out HeLa cells, nothing would happen to them.

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  • 8 years ago

    As with any transplanted tissue, the immune system of a healthy person would attack these as foreign tissue.

    If they were immune compromised for any reason or if they coincidentally were a compatible match then it is possible they would develop cancer.

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