Genetic testing can catch markers of disease before they’re transmitted to future generations — presenting some would-be parents with a difficult choice.

Caitlin Michelle is four months’ pregnant, and although she doesn’t know the sex of her baby yet, she says she thinks about it every day. …


My Therapist Says

Feeling antsy isn’t a character flaw but a sign

I’ve always considered myself a pragmatist — when facing a challenge, I often try to take a breath, go eat something, get some rest, and revisit with a fresh perspective in the morning. Don’t get me wrong — I make decisions based on gut feelings all the time. I just…


The waiting game is a different experience for every woman with a BRCA gene mutation

Three years ago, Mary Margaret, 31, from Vermont, learned that her BRCA gene has a mutation that may well one day cause cancer. “I’m not actually sick. I may not ever be sick,” she says. “I’ve just been told I might get something eventually.”

It’s a strange experience, to be…


Building strength and grit to live better, longer

“I think you can handle this,” says Karima Adi, holding out a 20-pound dumbbell. The weight is thankfully not for me — I’m still using a six-pound kettlebell — but for my workout buddy Bill Cox, a 70-year-old retiree living in London. We’re at CrossFit Shapesmiths in Clapham, where I’ve…


On accents and belonging

Many different colored heads next to five large speech bubbles.

I’m a story repeater.

Give me the flimsiest of excuses and I’ll tell my favorite yarns with gleeful indifference to anyone’s familiarity with the subject. Most people have their favorite stories — the ones we like to tell because they’re funny or meaningful to us or just because they say…


A brief history of women’s hair, and the hairbands that set you free.

Is there a hair tie around your wrist? If you’re a long-haired person like me, I’ll bet there is — unless it’s already in your hair. Right now I’ve got a messy bun on the top of…


Clear eyes, sharp scissors, can’t lose.

I hesitated for a long time before getting a fringe — or bangs, as they call it in America — because I knew it would be a lot of work. At the time I hadn’t been to a hairdresser in two years, having simply let my hair grow into a…


Freckles are distinctive and beautiful, but for the kids who stood out on the playground it can take a long time to come around to loving the skin they’re in.

The first time I realised I had freckles I was 29 years old. I’d noticed the little brown dots sprinkled…


A medical emergency while on holiday became a reminder of how amazing it is to live in a country with free healthcare

There are few things here in Britain that people love more than the National Health Service (NHS). Our free-at-point-of-use healthcare system is “a symbol of what is great about Britain, and we must do everything we can to maintain it” — 72% of respondents agreed with this statement in a…


In sixteen complicated, expensive, and frustrating steps

1. Move into your new flat and marvel at the fact that you own this place. Before you’ve finished unpacking, receive notice that they’ve examined every one of the building’s 27 flats to find the source of a leak —and it’s your bathroom! You’re on the hook for the repair…

Jessica Furseth

Journalist and Londoner. I write about culture, urbanism, agency around health, and how technology is changing the way we live. www.jessicafurseth.com

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