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Blood Matters: 04/18/08
Blood Matters is a thin volume packed with information on recent advances in the science of genetics told in a very personal manner. Masha Gessen was inspired to write Blood Matters after learning she had a mutation that increases her risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
In the first chapter when Gessen is recounting her mother's death and her own fears about breast cancer I was reluctant to keep reading. I was afraid the book would be nothing more than a gnashing of teeth and self pity. Fortunately after introducing the reason behind the book Gessen gets on to the science and her own process of learning about it.
Blood Matters is broken into three parts: The Past, The Present and The Future. In the first part, Gessen places herself in the context of genetic science both as a potential cancer sufferer and as an Ashkenazi Jew. In the second part she looks at how genetic testing is being used now in mainstream healthcare and by certain communities. In the final part she wraps up with where the science of genetics is going and who is driving these advances.
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. 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.
Comment #1: Saturday, April, 19, 2008 at 10:08:10
This sounds like a really interesting book. I enjoy reading about genetics so will have to check out your contest. "