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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Sometimes they were health related things not really connected to her main questions about genetics, like in her quick survey of the history of eugenics in the U. Unsettling medical memoir by a worried-but-still-well journalist who carries a breast-cancer gene. And are there effective therapies?

Dec 23, Lachelle rated it really liked it. What did this mean for the rest of her family? 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.

She also delves into many other areas related to genetic testing and medicine including why genes for some diseases tend to be found more frequently in some groups such as the Amish or Ashkenazi Jews. In such tough situations we all mashx to find how to make matyers a decision.


Fortunately after introducing the reason behind the book Gessen gets on to the science and her own process of learning about it. 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.

A really interesting look at genetic disorders from a very personal viewpoint.

Then, just when she seems to be embracing this all too uncritically, she pauses and reflects. Masha Gessen was inspired to write Blood Matters after learning she had a mutation that increases her risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Dec 11, Danielle rated it really liked it. The BRCA genes do not simply increase the odds of cancer; they cause it, with more stubborn forms occurring at an earlier age.

Masha Gessen born is a Russian journalist, translator, and nonfiction author. Lincoln rated it really liked it. Neither she nor the mother felt any ethical qualms. However there is so much more to it. Aug 28, Alison rated it liked it. In the final part she wraps up with where mztters science of genetics is going and who is driving these advances.

BLOOD MATTERS by Masha Gessen | Kirkus Reviews

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. Sep 08, Josie rated it liked it. Apr 30, Gina Maha rated it liked it. Super interesting and well written if you can get past the first few pages.


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 was so excited that this book was as accessible as it was. Thanks for telling us about the problem. She has since returned to the United States.

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And in the process she would have enriched her book. 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.

Blood Matters: A Journey Along the Genetic Frontier

Want to Read saving…. Sign up here to receive your FREE alerts. As she wrestled with mattees 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.

Jul 01, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: