Blood Matters by Masha Gessen
From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene

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Masha Gessen discovered through genetic testing that she had the dreaded BRCA1 genetic mutation--the same mutation made famous recently by Angelina Jolie, which predisposes women to ovarian and breast cancer. As Gessen wrestled with a wrenching personal decision—what to do with such knowledge—she explored the landscape of a brave new world, speaking with others like her and with experts including medical researchers, historians, and religious thinkers.

Blood Matters is a much-needed field guide to this unfamiliar and unsettling territory. It explores the way genetic information is shaping the decisions we make, 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. 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.

About Masha Gessen

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MASHA GESSEN is a journalist and the author of several previous books, most recently Perfect Rigor. Editor of the Russian-language Snob magazine, she has contributed to Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Granta, and Slate, among other publications. Gessen lives in Moscow.
Published November 11, 2009 by Mariner Books. 331 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Gessen (Ester and Ruzya: How My Grandmothers Survived Hitler's War and Stalin’s Peace, 2004, etc.) has steeped herself in genetics lore—and conjecture—in this wide-ranging account of genetic information past, present and future.

| Read Full Review of Blood Matters: From Inherited...

The New York Times

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Most memorably, an instructor in a psychology and economics class at Harvard attempts to “express life in numbers” for Gessen on an Excel spreadsheet, assigning values to living with cancer, living without cancer and living with the stench of a cancer threat.

May 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Blood Matters: From Inherited...

The Guardian

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Masha Gessen has chosen a shrewd title for her book.

Nov 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Blood Matters: From Inherited...

Publishers Weekly

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This energetic but unfocused account awkwardly merges several strands: the author's experience with the threat of breast cancer, discussions of genetic inheritance in Jewish families and a look at how the ability to test for genetic predispositions to various diseases is changing lives.

Feb 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Blood Matters: From Inherited...

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