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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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. Mar 07, L rated it really liked it Shelves: Sep 08, Josie rated it liked it. Hannah rated it really liked it Nov 14, Credit Gessen with absorbing gobs of information, but this is a case in which a little learning may be a dangerous thing—for the author and her readers.


Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the gessem of genetics told in a very personal manner.

Sep 17, Cindy rated it really liked it.

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Dor Yeshorim’s testing provides a peek to which couples mattsrs have these God-forsaken children. Her own story is often the focus, as she relates the deaths of her mother and other relatives from breast or ovarian cancers and traces the inheritance of the BRCA1 gene to her great-great-grandmother.

Clearly well researched this is an easily accessible book on genetics and it’s influence on human disease. It simultaneously invokes the old language of blood, bllod, 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.


This book is sort 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. Lists with This Book. Apr 27, K Surkan rated it it was amazing. However, I struggled at times with how it all fit into the authors story. And in the process she would have enriched her book.

I was amazed to learn about genetic testing in Isreal, and came away with the hope that people can and will shape the future of science, not the converse. Gessen’s unsparing maha of gssen with Huntington’s disease demonstrates the gulf that lies between DNA disease diagnostics and the delivery of any effective gene, or any other, therapy.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. In the first, Gessen describes her family’s challenges with their inherited diseases, and inquires how these hereditary diseases get passed down in the first place. 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.

The author examines ever advancing world of genetics. 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.

Blood Matters is a much-needed field guide to this unfamiliar and unsettling territory. At time, Gessen writes things from a viewpoint that I didn’t agree with. 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.

Apr 30, Gina Elle rated it liked it.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen | Books | The Guardian

Lisa matterss it really liked it Feb 04, Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology Vintage. 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.


Dec 11, Danielle rated it really liked it. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. In the second part she looks at how genetic testing is being used now in mainstream healthcare and by certain communities. I love a book that challenges bkood.

The author learns she geasen a genetic predisposition to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Author discovers she has inherited a defective gene common in her Jewish ancestors. Aug 28, Alison rated it liked it.

While she decides whether to have a complete hysterectomy and masectomy to prevent cancer, she discusses the frontier of genetic medicine and the ethical questions that surround the diseases.

I found it to be a very interesting book that raises a lot of questions about the implications of genetic testing. 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. As she wrestled with a wrenchin In genetic testing revealed that Masha Gessen had a 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 with such a situation.

Rose rated it really liked it May 18, Jun 07, Cindy Raquepau rated it liked it. Fortunate Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the science of genetics told in a very personal manner.