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a black and white photo of a striped bed with a baby peaking over the edge. The left side of their face is visible.

Elizabeth Carr is head of commercial development at Genomic Prediction, a New Jersey genetic testing startup that says it will assess embryos created in IVF clinics for their future chance of common diseases and then rank them, so parents can pick the one with the best future. 

It’s a controversial area that has some critics anguishing over the prospect of consumer eugenics. The American College of Medical Genetics said in March that the tests are “not yet appropriate” for use in medicine, calling them unproven.

Still, word of the company’s “health scores” for embryos is spreading via media reports and as the company starts to promote the tests to IVF clinics and at meetings. 

And Carr, who is in charge of sales and marketing, may just be the perfect spokesperson. That is because she is “America’s first test-tube baby,” as the headlines shouted in 1981, when she became the first person born through in vitro fertilization in the US.

MIT Technology Review spoke to Carr about the tests and her unique background.

How she learned about her...