20 years of GATTACA (1997)

Written by: Stephen Hsu

Primary Source: Information Processing

 A 20 year lag between science fiction and reality… not bad!

Embryo selection, but no additional engineering:

Geneticist (Blair Underwood): Keep in mind, this child is still you — simply the best of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result …

According to this discussion, an offer of genetic editing didn’t make the final cut:

In an outtake to the movie, the geneticist states that for an extra $5,000 he could give the embryo enhanced musical or mathematical skills – essentially splicing in a gene that was not present on the parents’ original DNA.

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Stephen Hsu
Stephen Hsu is vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University. He also serves as scientific adviser to BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute) and as a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab. Hsu’s primary work has been in applications of quantum field theory, particularly to problems in quantum chromodynamics, dark energy, black holes, entropy bounds, and particle physics beyond the standard model. He has also made contributions to genomics and bioinformatics, the theory of modern finance, and in encryption and information security. Founder of two Silicon Valley companies—SafeWeb, a pioneer in SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Networks) appliances, which was acquired by Symantec in 2003, and Robot Genius Inc., which developed anti-malware technologies—Hsu has given invited research seminars and colloquia at leading research universities and laboratories around the world.