Download Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, by Masha Gessen PDF

By Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen came across through genetic trying out that she had the feared BRCA1 genetic mutation--the similar mutation made well-known lately through Angelina Jolie, which predisposes girls to ovarian and breast melanoma. As Gessen wrestled with a wrenching own decision—what to do with such knowledge—she explored the panorama of a courageous new global, conversing with others like her and with specialists together with clinical researchers, historians, and non secular thinkers.

Blood issues is a much-needed box advisor to this unusual and unsettling territory. It explores the best way genetic info is shaping the selections we make, not just approximately our actual and emotional well-being yet approximately whom we marry, the youngsters we endure, even the character characteristics we lengthy to have. And it is helping us come to phrases with the novel transformation that genetic info is engineering in our most elementary feel of who we're and what we'd become.


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Additional resources for Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene

Sample text

She paused. ” BRCA1 and BRCA2 are two genes known to play a role in the development of breast and ovarian cancer. The caller was a genetic counselor informing me that my mother had passed on to me a mutant gene. I was surprised. I was shocked. I should not have been. I had gone to get tested, I had known enough to know that I was a likely candidate for the mutation, but I was convinced that I was negative. Even if my mother had been a carrier—I could not know, because she died before the gene was discovered—I had only a 50 percent chance of having inherited it.

My mother is holding me, her lips buried in the black down on my head, and she has that look of being desperately tired and profoundly in love, a look—or, rather, a state—I recognize. This is the last evidence that we had this connection. ” She sounded like she was saying something one said in such situations. I mumbled something noncommittal, which is to say, unfeeling: I felt nothing. Fourteen years later, I sat at a large table with women who carried my mutation. The hospital where my mother had her mastectomy and where I now went for my breast MRIs was across the street.

All the Cohanim are sons of Aaron, brother of Moses. If that is the case, thought Skorecki, then he, a Jew of Ashkenazic roots, and the man of apparently North African extraction who was just then making his way to the front of the congregation, would carry the traces of their common forefather. And they would carry them most evidently where all men store the traces of their fathers and their fathers’ fathers: in the DNA of the Y chromosome. Skorecki, who had no research background in genetics, contacted an Arizona geneticist named Michael Hammer, who had distinguished himself in Y-chromosome research, and told him of his idea.

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