"Imagine what a couple might pay to ensure that they get the best out of 10 or 50 possible offspring"

In fact, China Development Bank, a state bank that lends to government pet projects, has given BGI $1.5 billion, although the firm says it will not turn over its data.

‘Imagine what a couple might pay to ensure that they get the best out of 10 or 50 possible offspring, optimizing over their choice of heritable attributes,” he wrote on his blog, comparing the cost of a Harvard degree or private school with the few thousand dollars it takes to fertilize and implant embryos.

‘There are going to be countries that say this is part of our national health-care service and everyone is doing it,” he told the New Yorker. “And eventually it would become unstoppable, because the countries that initially outlawed it would have to come around. How could they not?”