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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She has since returned to the United States.

Sep 26, Laura Gilbert rated it liked it. It simultaneously invokes the old language of blood, family, kinship and biological connectedness, and the new language of genetics in which the formidable power of DNA sequencing intensifies our understanding of what it means to face a serious and life-threatening risk.

Very light smokers can have the pleasure without the risk of lung cancer. The book is divided into three sections: Both are required reading, as they are completely different takes on the subject matter. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger.

What did this mean for the rest of her family?

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen | Books | The Guardian

Jun 07, Cindy Raquepau rated it liked it. All the way through, Gessen provides a singular, embedded viewpoint filtering what she learns through her how journey of deciding how to handle the news of her own BRCA mutation. I found it to be a very interesting book that raises a lot of questions about the mwsha of genetic testing.

Apr 27, K Surkan rated it it was amazing. Lisa rated it really liked it Feb 04, 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.

Return to Book Page. In genetic testing revealed that Masha Gessen had blodo mutation that predisposed her to ovarian and breast cancer. While I find myself profoundly troubled by the ethics of using a baby as means, not as an end, in all honesty I don’t actually know what I would have done if I had been faced natters such a situation. Masha Gessen born is a Russian journalist, gesden, and nonfiction author. She also shows how the advent of genetic testing has completely altered these lives in ways that were previously unimaginable.

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The mother 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. It is precisely this quality of thoughtful reflection that distinguishes the book.

I found it to be a very interesting book that The author examines ever advancing world of genetics. In such tough situations we all have to find how to make such a decision. To help her decide whether and how to act on this knowledge, Gessen researches the history of genetic disease and genetic testing, and visits many scientists, past and present patients, and their families. Without being sordid nor miserabilist she tells her doubt and fears should she accept an oophorectomy?

As she wrestled with a wrenchin In genetic testing revealed that Masha Gessen had a mutation that predisposed her to ovarian and breast cancer. 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 for the sickle-cell trait, which persists in the population because it increases protection against malaria.

BLOOD MATTERS by Masha Gessen | Kirkus Reviews

She also delves into many other areas related to genetic testing and medicine mtters why genes for some diseases tend to be found more frequently in some groups such as the Amish or Ashkenazi Mattres. Gessen Ester and Ruzya: No trivia or quizzes yet. Super interesting and well written if you can get past the first few pages.

Well, I found the first chapter interesting. In this section Gessen gets more deeply into the cruel variety of hereditary diseases and how these diseases shape the lives of those who have them.

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. She reports on the difficulty she has in making a decision whether on not to have her breasts and ovaries removed. Should she do preventive surgery? Each week, our editors select the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert.


It is easy to gssen 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. There was a problem adding your email address.

Mar 20, Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it Shelves: Blood Matters and Pretty is What Changes. Jul 11, K. Fortunate Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the science of genetics told in a very personal manner. This is not a book matgers you can cuddle up with in bed.

Gessen’s unsparing account of people with Huntington’s disease demonstrates the gulf that lies between DNA disease diagnostics and the delivery of any effective gene, or any other, therapy.

Jun 20, Nicole Martin rated it it was amazing. It’s true that over-egging the potential health benefits of genetic research has been a constant problem, from the launch of the human genome project and the unqualified claims of what gene therapy could do: Msaha she want to know?

Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier

Biology and history are here intertwined with ethics so as to question, bluntly and without passion the impact of our understanding of genetics so far. In the second part she looks at how genetic testing is being used now in mainstream healthcare and by certain communities. Written ten years ago, genetic testing was much less mainstream and discussed as a topic this was prior to ‘the Angelia effect’. Aug 31, Nancy rated it maters liked it Lbood Masha Gessen is a journalist of Ashkenazi jewish ancestry with a BRCA gene mutation that meant she watched her mother die of cancer and her statistical probability of getting ovarian or breast cancer was quite high.