Sometime in the not-too-distant future, Marie and Antonio Freeman step into a doctor’s office to design their next child. “Your extracted eggs, Marie, have been fertilized with Antonio’s sperm,” the doctor says. “After screening we’re left with, as you see, two healthy boys and two very healthy girls.” A monitor displays what looks like soap bubbles that bumped into each other on a green background. “Naturally, no critical predispositions to any of the major heritable diseases,” the doctor says. “All that remains is to select the most compatible candidate. We might as well start with gender—have you given it any thought?” “We would want Vincent to have a brother, you know, to play with,” Marie says, referring to her first child. Acknowledging this, the doctor continues: “You have specified hazel eyes, dark hair and fair skin. I have taken the liberty of eradicating any potentially prejudicial conditions: premature baldness, myopia, alcoholism and addictive susceptibility, propensity for violence and obesity—” “We didn’t want—I mean, diseases, yes,” Marie interrupts. “Right, we were wondering if it’s good to leave a few things to chance,” Antonio says. “You want to give your child the best possible start,” the doctor replies. “Believe me, we have enough imperfection built-in already. Your child doesn’t need any additional burdens. And 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.” The Freemans are characters in the science fiction film Gattaca, which explores liberal eugenics as an unintended consequence of certain technologies meant to assist human reproduction. Although Antonio and Marie do not exist outside the movie’s imaginary universe, their real-life counterparts could be walking among us sooner than we think—and, in a sense, they already are.