Mad Scientists: Disturbing Human Experiments

Science experiments are about discovery, innovation, and ingenuity. A noble cause, right? Well, not exactly.

In theory, the scientific method is designed to coax humans towards the next stage of our evolution. But in the past, a few not-so-friendly scientists have co-opted the scientific method to further their nefarious means. To be fair, not all of the scientists involved in the following article are morally bankrupt. Some of them were just the product of their era.

Today on Filthy Rich, we explore some of the most interesting and disturbing human experiments in the history of the scientific method. Think Stranger Things. Think Wolverine. And, be thankful that the government has rules in place to protect against the following disturbing experiments now.

Henrietta Lacks

This one is more bizarre than disturbing. Henrietta Lacks was a poor tobacco farmer who went in for a routine biopsy as part of her treatment for cervical cancer. Unbeknownst to her, doctors took a sample of both the healthy and unhealthy cells. Henrietta died, but the cells taken from her on that fateful day in 1951 still live on.

Scientist George Otto cultured those cells in an attempt to clone them for use in scientific experiments. These HeLa cells were immortalized and are still being used in medical research, from helping develop the polio vaccine to AIDS research. It truly is a fascinating story that deserves much more than 100 words. For an easily digestible version, check out this Radio Lab podcast.

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