By Masha Gessen
Read or Download Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene PDF
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Extra resources for Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene
These considerations were background noise; I had picked up the phone without pausing to think, just getting one of my daily chores out of the way while I had time to kill. A strange male voice answered the phone. ” I asked, knowing that it was not. “Hold a minute,” the man said nervously, and a moment later my father came on the line. My mother was dead. The man answering the phone was a policeman who had come to fill out a report, which, as it turned out, was a necessary part of letting someone die at home.
I had embarked upon the most Californian of endeavors, an editorial retreat for the Los Angeles–based magazine where I worked. I ate dinner with my colleagues at a bland Mexican restaurant. I had two margaritas, talked more than I usually did, and told a story that left me vaguely uneasy, as I always feel when I talk about my mother: I cannot talk about her without telling lies. I do not remember what I said, but it was something complimentary, even prideful, I think, and though I loved my mother and was proud of her, talking of her in that way, with all that had gone wrong between us, was most certainly a lie.
Neither bad luck nor genetic drift can explain the emergence of different mutations (each of the conditions can result from one of several) that affect different genes but cause similar processes to occur in the body. The explanation must lie with selective advantage—but what sort of selective advantage could it have conveyed? In 2005 three Utah researchers published a study suggesting that Jews are so sickly because they are so smart. Ashkenazi Jews have the highest average IQ of any ethnic group that has had its IQ measured as a group.