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a cartoon white baby surrounded by dna double helixes on a blue background. The DNA forms a play pen for the baby

Imagine you’re planning to have a baby and are told there’s a method that can select the embryo to increase, by 2 per cent, the chance of them getting into a top school. Would you use it? A new survey found that more than four in 10 Americans say they would. This study of attitudes towards a technique called preimplantation genetic testing for polygenic risk (PGT-P) shows that there could be a substantial market for it if it is made available for such applications. The technology would not, say bioethicist Michelle N Meyer of Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, and her co-authors, just be adopted by a few “idiosyncratic individuals”, as has sometimes been suggested previously.

Of course, if you’re sensible then you will ask about the small print. How much does the process cost? Is it risky? Since it requires IVF, so that the prospective embryos can be genetically tested before implantation, would you opt for that even if it would not otherwise be necessary to conceive? But the researchers intentionally set a low bar for the 6,823...