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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Along the way she covers a lot of ground about what we can learn from our genes, the value of screening, whether patients are sophisticated enough to handle this information and the distress mmatters anxiety of uncertainty.

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

Lincoln rated it really liked it. And with stem-cell debate and religion mixed up in genetics in the U. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. I found it to be a very interesting book that The author examines ever advancing world of genetics. Thanks gesssen telling us about the problem. Open Preview See a Problem?

However, I struggled at times with how it all fit into the authors story.

Some may find this last suggestion rather hard to believe; it was not made by a tabloid newspaper, but by an editorial in the mahters US journal Science. Sep 27, Laurie rated it liked it. Jun 20, Nicole Martin rated it it was amazing. She visits Israel, where she finds that the connections between genealogy, genetics and Jewish identity inspire little anxiety.

At time, Gessen writes things from a viewpoint that I didn’t agree with. This is not a book that you can cuddle up with in bed. The discovery initiated Gessen into a club of sorts: 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.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen

Nov 27, Kirk rated it liked it Shelves: She focuses on her own struggle to decide whether to have her breasts and ovaries removed after she tests positive for a gene that indicates she is likely to develop either breast or ovarian cancer. Geswen own story is often the focus, as she relates the deaths of her mother and mashha relatives from breast or ovarian cancers and traces ,asha inheritance of the BRCA1 gene to her great-great-grandmother.


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. Masha Gessen is a journalist of Ashkenazi jewish ancestry with a BRCA gene mutation that meant she watched her mother masga of cancer and her statistical probability of getting ovarian or breast cancer was quite high.

Preview — Blood Matters by Masha Gessen. She also includes chapters on families with a wide variety of genetic diseases and information on the current science of preventing and dealing with these diseases. Lists with This Book.

Bkood actually ended up enjoying the book so much that I will probably get myself a copy to keep as reference material, right next to my copy of Cats Are Not Peas. Apr 30, Gina Elle rated it liked it. Can her embodied identity as a woman cope with radical mastectomy? Fortunate Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the science of genetics told in a very personal manner.

Early on she discusses the increased probability of risk through her own ethnic identity as an Ashkenazi Jew. From the maatters you may think this is a book about how the author deals with being diagnosed with breast cancer, and not much more.

Bred in the genes

Sarah Steed rated it really liked it Aug 07, Written ten years ago, genetic testing was much less mainstream and discussed as a topic this was prior to ‘ A journalist with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer must first decide whether to get testing, and then, discovering she is positive, decide what action to take. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to bloos most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. In genetic testing revealed gesssen Masha Gessen had a mutation that predisposed her to ovarian and breast cancer. Trivia About Blood Matters: This pessimism colors her account as she reviews the history of genetics from the horrors of eugenics and Nazism to the discovery of the gene bloor the sickle-cell trait, which persists in the population because it increases protection against malaria.


In the second part she looks at how genetic testing is being used now in mainstream healthcare and by certain communities. These are new ethical gessfn, and the people who confront them are, as the anthropologist Rayna Rapp observes, “moral pioneers”.

Only in her extended account of the country doctor who saves Mormon children whose inbreeding has led to crippling or lethal genetic disorders does her gentle scepticism weaken. No trivia or quizzes yet. Super interesting and well written if you can get past the first few pages. Biviana Diaz rated it it was amazing Mar 05, Masha Gessen was inspired to write Blood Matters after learning she had a mutation that increases her risk of geessen and ovarian cancers.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. She lauds the clinicians who work with Amish and Mennonite groups in Pennsylvania, developing diets to stave off the worse effects of inherited metabolic diseases.

Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier by Masha Gessen

A really interesting look at genetic disorders from a very personal viewpoint. You can egssen your science, educational and personal journey fix all in one book. What works for Gessen – but, I would guess, not for many – is an econometric model of risk and value of life constructed by an economist with her input. Does she want to know?

Hang on to the NHS, dear readers; we may still have to fight postcode care, but it is not our health insurance company that dictates the medical treatment we must have. Well, I found the first chapter interesting. The masga of one adopted and one biological child, she is considering having another baby, but the genetic counselor she consults advises an ovariectomy and perhaps a double mastectomy.

At times this book could be tedious.