Just fill out the form, and you too could have a genotype like Uma Thurman's, or Jude Law's ... Well, not quite, but at least the site promoting the sci-fi film Gattaca has come up with an interesting use for those tedious on-line forms. The Design-A-Child feature could have been designed to induce apoplexy in critics of genetic determinism. At the start, you choose between two buttons: "Yes, I want to design my own child", or "No, I want to roll the genetic dice". Choose "No", and you're asked to consider if that's really such a good idea.

The forms draw up "genetic profiles" of each parent. As well as traits such as stature and eye colour, they include IQ, "addictive susceptibilities", "criminally aggressive tendencies", "shyness" and sexual orientation (check one of three boxes). The really scary thing is that there are plenty of psychologists who think these genes are facts, not science fiction.