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.

Author: Taumi Brajora
Country: Georgia
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Politics
Published (Last): 4 July 2011
Pages: 287
PDF File Size: 16.54 Mb
ePub File Size: 8.18 Mb
ISBN: 816-1-62160-515-3
Downloads: 10698
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Malamuro

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. Sep 14, Devon rated it it was amazing Shelves: She also shows how the advent of genetic testing has mattters altered these lives in masna that were previously unimaginable.

Just my opinion of mathers. And sometimes she is waxes poetically eloquent, like here when she is talking about Dor Yeshorim’s testing of potential marriage mates: The book is divided into three sections: As she wrestled with a wrenching personal decision—what to do with such knowledge—Gessen explored the landscape of this brave jatters world, speaking with others like her and with experts including medical researchers, historians, and religious thinkers.

Lisa rated it really liked it Feb 04, 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. As this is a memoir and a layman’s introduction to genetics and the human genome, I am reminded fondly of Laura Gould’s book on calico genetics, Cats Are Not Peas.

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. Mwsha 07, Cindy Raquepau rated it liked it.

However many of the lessons hold true today. Clearly well researched this is an easily accessible book on genetics and it’s influence on human disease. Does she want to know? And are there effective therapies? As she wrestled with a wrenchin.


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. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Dec 23, Lachelle rated it really liked it. May 31, Judy added it Shelves: 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.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. This is more than a simple testimony from a patient suffering from a cancer and, her odyssey to better grasp her condition through the lense of gesse science.

Aug 02, Pilar rated it it was ok. Masha Gessen born is a Russian journalist, translator, and nonfiction author.

BLOOD MATTERS by Masha Gessen | Kirkus Reviews

Fortunately after introducing the reason behind the book Gessen gets on to the science and her own process of learning about it. M asha Gessen has chosen a shrewd title for her book. Gessen is compelling though; I guess I wanted it to be more memoir and less research.

Trivia About Blood Matters: 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. 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. Lists with This Book.

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen | Books | The Guardian

As Gessen wrestles with decision-making, the text increasingly leans toward a deterministic view of genetic destiny: Jul 11, K. 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 geasen present patients, and their families.


A journalist with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer must first decide whether to get testing, and then, discovering she is positive, b,ood what action to take. Without being sordid nor miserabilist she tells her doubt and fears should she accept an oophorectomy?

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. In the first and last chapters alone, this author tells a beautiful story about living in the midst of the genetic information age. bloodd

Blood Matters by Masha Gessen

It explores the way genetic information is shaping the decisions we gewsen, not only about our physical and emotional health but about whom we marry, the children we bear, even the personality traits we long to have.

It is precisely this quality of thoughtful reflection that distinguishes the jatters. Hardcoverpages. This book was so good, it hurt my head. Starts as a memoir and cycled through history and the innovations in genetic medicine.

She raises questions I had never thought of, but will probably have to deal with in my lifetime. The BRCA genes do not matterss increase the odds of cancer; they cause it, with more stubborn forms occurring at an earlier age.

However there is so much more to it. What did this mean for the rest of her family? 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. 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.