This film is interested in what we choose to notice. In society in Gattaca the minutest molecule is the most significant: DNA. So focused is this society on this detail, and on what it means, that they fail to zoom the camera out to see the whole person. Here Vincent explains to Irene how she has been conned. All she can see are the flaws in a person's DNA; what he urges her to do is see the bigger picture. He wants her to see that what he has done is possible and that others could do the same. It is interesting that Vincent, having been contained and restricted for so long by his genetic makeup, should aspire to travel to space. There the camera must zoom out to take in the enormity of the planets and the universe and from there Vincent may also get some space from the tight restrictions of life on Earth.
In reference to Don Mitchell’s comment about assembling the subjects: Two of the researchers on the paper – Sean Myles and Nic Timpson – spent about a month going island to island, explaining their study (in Solomon Islands pidgin), assembling subjects and gathering the samples, which numbered more than 1000. I’m a writer at Stanford and spoke with Sean for our blog: http:///2012/05/blond-hair-evolved-more-than-once-and-why-it-matters/ and for our newspaper: http:///ism/2012/may/ . I included some details about their work on the islands in my articles. You’re right, it was incredibly interesting and my articles only scratch the surface. Their whole trip would make a great story.
Genetically improved children may also be possible. Sinclair told the investors that he was trying to alter the DNA of these egg stem cells using gene editing, work he later told me he was doing with Church’s lab. “We think the new technologies with genome editing will allow it to be used on individuals who aren’t just interested in using IVF to have children but have healthier children as well, if there is a genetic disease in their family,” Sinclair told the investors. He gave the example of Huntington’s disease, caused by a gene that will trigger a fatal brain condition even in someone who inherits only one copy. Sinclair said gene editing could be used to remove the lethal gene defect from an egg cell. His goal, and that of OvaScience, is to “correct those mutations before we generate your child,” he said. “It’s still experimental, but there is no reason to expect it won’t be possible in coming years.”