top of page

A Genetic Pandora's BoxThe Wall Street Journal review

"In her thoughtful, engaging book “The Gene Machine,” journalist Bonnie Rochman explores the impact and uncertainty that information relating to an individual’s genetic material may have on his or her life and family." (Click for full review)


The Brave New World of Gene Editing, New York Review of Books

"Bonnie Rochman’s The Gene Machine shows how genetic testing is changing the lives of prospective parents and explores the dilemmas many people now face when deciding whether to have a child who might have a particular disease.

Rochman navigates these difficult waters with skill and compassion, drawing on conversations with families and physicians and setting out the ethical challenges and the range of solutions adopted by different people, without being preachy or moralistic." (Click for full review)

‘The Gene Machine’ poses question: Can we design a perfect future human?The Seattle Times review

"Rochman has found noted and well-spoken ethicists, scientists and genetic researchers who clearly articulate the pros and cons of the issues surrounding genetic screening, testing and treatments.

“The Gene Machine” is well researched and written as a helpful guide on the choices potential parents may be called upon to make. It can also help guide society out of the ethical thickets planted by this advancing science." (Click for full review)

Publishers Weekly review

"Journalist Rochman takes a calm, thorough, and nonsensationalist look at core bioethical questions surrounding an array of reproductive health issues as well as the ethical spaces where what can be done and what should be done come into conflict. She clearly and accessibly describes cutting-edge technologies for the general reader without succumbing to faddish, uncritical enthusiasm. "

(Click for full review)


Kirkus Reviews

"Knowledge can be power, but as Rochman rightly points out, sometimes the ability to know doesn’t mean one should know. Solid research into dilemmas regarding screening and how it is used for fetuses and newborns." (Click for full review)

Library Journal review
"The author delves into an intriguing and intimate topic with sensitivity and compassion . . . For anyone who has or will have children as well as those with an interest in genetics and popular science."




"Bonnie Rochman's The Gene Machine is as profoundly important and timely as it is readable and relatable. Through deeply human stories, Rochman unpacks the complicated science of genetics and how it has changed the ways we build and understand our families in the modern world. In short, this is genetics with a human face."

  ~ Emily Rapp Black, New York Times bestselling author of The Still Point of the Turning World 

"How much do you really want to know about the future health of your children or yourself? In The Gene Machine, Bonnie Rochman provides us with a beautifully written, thoughtful examination of this complex issue. It is a must-read for anyone grappling with the brave new world of genetic possibilities."

  ~ Richard Berkowitz, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Columbia University; former Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine


"A vivid introduction to the new world of pre- and postnatal genetic testing: a guidebook for the person who wants a deeper understanding of all the amazing things this technology can do, and why you still might want to think twice."

  ~ Laura Hercher, director of student research at the Joan H. Marks Graduate Human Genetics Program, Sarah Lawrence College


"Strikes a great balance between describing the science and technology behind genetic advances, and translating those into real patient stories and experiences. It’s a fascinating read."

  ~ Mary E. Norton, M.D., professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California, San Francisco

"A great read. Bonnie Rochman negotiates the pros and cons of genetic technologies and humanizes scientific endeavors by venturing into the hearts and homes of families facing tough choices caused by the hardship of inherited disease."

  ~ James Grifo, M.D., Ph.D., director of the New York University Langone Fertility Center


"Real issues confronted by real people, with real implications for their decisions: Bonnie Rochman tells their stories and clearly and compellingly examines the issues they confront."

  ~ Jeffrey Kahn, Ph.D., M.P.H., Andreas C. Dracopoulos Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics


"A mind-bending exploration of what makes us human, this book will make you reconsider the meaning and mechanisms of parenthood." 

  ~ Kelley Benham French, coauthor of Juniper

bottom of page