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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Bloov 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. Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Just my opinion of course. At time, Gessen writes things from a viewpoint that I didn’t agree with.

Blood Matters and Pretty is What Changes.

gessn Topics Science and nature books. However many of the lessons hold true today. It is precisely this quality of thoughtful reflection that distinguishes matterss book. 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. M asha Gessen has chosen a shrewd title for her book. Rose rated it really liked it May 18, The author learns she has a genetic predisposition to breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Both are required reading, as they are completely different takes on matterz subject matter. Thus in some ways the book belongs masua the genre of cancer narratives of those who have fought and survived, and those who have fought and lost. I really enjoyed this book because the author tells an compelling story about her own journey with genetic testing but there is a lot of science and interviews to back up her opinions.

Gessen’s unsparing account of people with Huntington’s mattefs demonstrates the gulf mattera lies between DNA disease diagnostics and the delivery of any effective gene, or any other, therapy. Apr 27, K Surkan rated it it was amazing. Aug 02, Pilar rated it it was ok. Mar 28, Jen rated it really liked it.


Biviana Diaz rated it it was amazing Mar 05, As she wrestled with a wrenching personal decision—what to do with such knowledge—Gessen explored the landscape of this brave new world, speaking with others like her and with experts including medical researchers, historians, and religious thinkers.

This book was so good, it hurt my head. Gessen is compelling though; I guess I wanted it to be more memoir and less research. The book is divided into three sections: Instead, she makes a compelling case that we need to look matteers what we already know and what testing could help us know, and start our thinking from there.

Masha Gessen was inspired to write Blood Matters after learning she had a mutation that increases her risk of maha and ovarian cancers. Sep 14, Devon rated gessdn it was amazing Shelves: 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.

And sometimes she is waxes poetically eloquent, like here when she is talking about Dor Yeshorim’s testing of potential marriage mates: Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the science of genetics told in a very personal manner. The author examines ever advancing world maha genetics. Can her embodied identity as a woman cope with radical mastectomy?

Bred in the genes

Sep 08, Josie rated it liked it. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. I was so excited that this book was as accessible as it was. Aug 31, Nancy rated it really liked it Shelves: She also shows how the advent of genetic testing has completely altered these lives in ways that were previously unimaginable. The arrival of stem cell research, with its promise to innovate regenerative medicine, has led to a new wave of hope. Gessen Ester and Ruzya: 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: 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.

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I wish Gessen had more to say about PGD and the reproductive politics surrounding these issues, though. I 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. Fortunately after introducing the reason behind the book Gessen gets on to the science and her own process of learning about it. 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.

She has since returned to the United States.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen | Books | The Guardian

Early on she discusses the increased gdssen of risk through her own ethnic identity blold an Ashkenazi Jew. Sep 27, Laurie rated it liked it. 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. 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 with such a situation.

Blood Matters is a much-needed field guide to this unfamiliar and unsettling territory. However, I struggled at times with how it all fit mattrrs the authors story. Jul 11, K. Super interesting and well written if you can get past the first few pages.

But I did like that the mattdrs not only focused on her own breast cancer gene mutation, but also on other gene mutations, as well, and how they are being treated. I love a book that challenges me. To ask other readers questions about Blood Mattersplease sign up.