Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene. Masha Gessen. Review: Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier by Masha GessenHilary Rose finds hope and caution in a thoughtful survey of. Aged 37, a seemingly healthy Masha Gessen is advised to cut off her breasts and remove her ovaries. Living in the shadow of her mother’s.

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The author learns she has a genetic predisposition to breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

There is a chilling moment when the one adviser who does agree that surveillance can be effective expresses strong doubts whether any insurance company would cover treatment. I wish Gessen had more to say about PGD and the reproductive politics surrounding these issues, though. For Gessen this confirms the advice of the clinicians, and she opts for a double mastectomy.

And in the process she would have enriched her book. Apr 28, Suzanne rated it liked it Shelves: It is easy to read because it feels like you’re working with a friendc to work through some personal issues, but a lot of the scientific evidenceis right there and researched for you. One might conclude that where a child is deprived of sight, hearing, speech, movement, understanding, and discernment– as children with Tay-Sachs, Canavan, and Niemann-Pick certainly are– God had declined to do His part.

A little disjointed though. May 31, Judy added it Shelves: Sometimes they were health related things not really connected to her main questions about genetics, like in her quick survey of the history of eugenics in the U.

Trivia About Blood Matters: She raises questions I had never thought of, but will probably have to deal with in my lifetime.

Sep 08, Josie rated it liked it. But after the relatively modest successes of gene therapy derived from the human genome project, it would probably be wisest to blend this hope with a strong dose of caution.


Sep 14, Devon rated it it was amazing Shelves: That is a journey worth taking with her through this book, finding bllood what she finds out, mulling over possibilities and consequences with her. She has since gesen to the United States.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen

Jul 01, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: She doesn’t always give answers, either; part of what makes the book so interesting is that it’s never clear that there are one-size-fits-all answers to the questions we have about genetic testing — making msaha pondering of the questions that much more important.

Does she want to know? Without being sordid nor miserabilist she tells her doubt and fears should she accept an oophorectomy? Gessen ably balances her reporting with her personal experience, using each to inform the other. You can get your science, educational and personal journey fix all in one book.

Topics Science and nature books. From the synopsis you may think this is a book about how the author deals with being diagnosed with breast cancer, and not much more.

Sign up here to receive your FREE blodo. A must read for anyone with an interest in genetics. What did this mean for the rest of her family? I found it to be a very interesting book that raises a lot of questions about the implications of genetic testing. It is now 20 years since the much-celebrated isolation of the sequences through which Huntington’s is transmitted, but still there is no effective therapy in sight.

And it helps us come to terms with the radical transformation that genetic information is engineering in our most basic sense of who we are and what we might become. Fortunate Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the science of genetics told in a very personal manner. Credit Gessen with absorbing gobs of information, but this is a case in which a little learning may be a dangerous gessen the author and her readers.


However many of the lessons hold true today. The BRCA genes do not simply increase the odds of cancer; they cause it, with more stubborn forms occurring at an earlier age.

Review: Blood Matters by Masha Gessen | Books | The Guardian

She is quite mean but mostly keeps the bite under wraps. While these are often intensely moving to read, what makes Gessen’s book different is that she has used her considerable research skills as a journalist to set out what human genetics can and can’t do.

This book is hessen of dumb about genetics poor understanding of evolution being the main problem even while it is appropriately skeptical about connections between genes and behavior and put off by the personalities of scientists. Clearly well researched this is an easily accessible book on genetics and it’s influence on matterrs disease.

Then, just when she seems to be embracing this all too uncritically, she pauses and reflects. Apr 27, K Surkan rated it it was amazing.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen | Books | The Guardian

Biviana Diaz rated it it was amazing Mar 05, Aug 31, Nancy rated it really liked it Shelves: Thus in some ways the book belongs to the genre of cancer narratives of those who have fought and survived, and those who have fought and lost. Both are required reading, as they are completely different takes on the subject matter.

Refresh and try again. Rose rated it really liked it May 18, The book is divided into three sections: While I find myself profoundly troubled by the ethics of using a mattegs as means, not as an end, in all honesty Mwsha don’t actually know what I would have done if I had been faced with such a situation.