One woman’s race to defuse the genetic time bomb in her genes
In 2011, Sonia Vallabh was handed a genetic report that contained a death sentence. But it also held a map for how to escape. Her body, she learned, harbored a gene mutation, a single wrong letter of DNA in her “prion” gene, that would eventually lead to a rare brain condition called fatal familial insomnia. Her mother had died of it the year before, and the test had revealed Vallabh had inherited the flaw too.