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Gattaca -Dna Testing

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Should We Use DNA Testing?

In Gattaca, a film whose roots are firmly planted in the Science Fiction genre, the timeline in which the movie is set is never really stated, thus it could be next year, in another ten, or not for one hundred. While this is effective is making us believe that this could be, "just around the corner", the society presented is widely regarded as being too close to our present day in order to present a true chilling image. With DNA testing already quite common in the sporting world and in what the movie centers around, space exploration, Gattaca arguably fails to deliver its message with enough force to severely impact on the psyche of viewers.

Many modern day sporting teams invest in the technology of genetic screening of potential team members, or even hire a dedicated geneticist. They use this technology to screen potential players at ages as young as ten or eleven, to see how tall they are, and even what build. While this may seem like a gross invasion of privacy, in the multi-million dollar industry that is professional sport, every player is a very expensive investment, and using such a screening process prevents teams from "wasting money" on players that may not necessarily be what the team is looking for. This is very coherent with Vincent's quote in Gattaca "My real resume was in my cells", in which an identical screening process was used at the entrance to Gattaca. However, this is not the only way that DNA is used in our modern society as it was in Gattaca.

Forensic investigation often employs the use of DNA testing in order to place potential suspects at the scene of a crime, and in Gattaca the technology, while being much more rapid, is also implemented, and accessible by the public. When Irene takes "Vincent's" hair to be checked by a genetics booth, she is given an entire roll of information on the owner of the hair, and even a rating of his validity, "9.3, quite a catch". While modern DNA technology has yet to come this far, it is one of the more chilling aspects of the film, as it appears to be technology that would perhaps not be best used in modern society. As the movie progresses, we see Vincent go through numerous body fluid tests in order to continually "prove his identity", but these too are also quite common in some jobs today.

Regularly, NASA employees and even professional sportspeople will have to pass bodily fluid tests, in order to search for any illegal substances or abnormalities in the body. This being a primary theme in Gattaca as being an obstacle that must be evaded, the technology Vincent uses to bypass Gattaca's staunch security measures is nevertheless still quite a long way off being used commercially. Furthermore, the regularity of these substance tests seems to be quite extreme and implausible, alongside the monitored fitness tests all employees at Gattaca must go through. While adding



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