SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fiction author and Silicon Valley entrepreneur J.D. Lasica, whose high-tech thriller “Biohack” just debuted on Amazon, has launched a new website to show where reproductive technologies may be heading by the 2020s.
In Lasica’s new thriller “Biohack,” from Best of Indie, a Dallas biotech company called Birthrights Unlimited enables single parents or couples to select a baby's gender, screen for genetic diseases or “optimize” a child at the pre-embryo stage.
The new book is sounding a warning about the potential dangers posed to society if CRISPR and other genetic engineering breakthroughs become common enough to allow parents to design their own babies.
The educational site, BirthrightsUnlimited.com, portrays a future where parents have the ability to choose not just a child’s gender but also “desirable traits” such as a specific eye color, height, hair color, skin tone and body composition.
“This isn’t ‘Gattaca’ or science fiction,” Lasica warned. “Thanks to CRISPR, the science is already here or soon will be. Now it’s up to us as a society to decide how it should be used.”
CRISPR, pronounced “crisper” and recently featured on “60 Minutes,” stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, a discovery that allows scientists to make changes to the human genome with pinpoint precision.
A page on the BirthrightsUnlimited.com site lets viewers download a fictitious confidential document showing a series of grave team operations as well as potential misuse of Hollywood celebrities’ DNA.
Through the use of “knockoff genes,” the fictitious reproductive facility promises to let parents modify a pre-embryo so their child would have the same green eye color as actress Charlize Theron.
A slide on “skinny genes” on the site displays a slender Scarlett Johansson and says the company has identified genes that regulate body weight. Another slide shows the actor Chris Hemsworth with long golden locks and cites a gene that leads to “robust follicle formation.”
Much of the science is already here, said Lasica, a tech journalist turned thriller author who conducted months of research into genetic sciences before commissioning the website.
Other research findings may be just around the corner, Lasica said, such as identifying gene regions that regulate height. Next to a photo of the six-foot-four Tom Brady on the site is a claim that scientists can configure a child’s height to within three centimeters at adulthood.
A red banner across the top of Birthrights Unlimited’s website provides a tipoff that the company is fictitious: "Realistic, right? See a twisted misuse of biotech in the exciting new thriller ‘Biohack.’” A second clue can be seen in the site footer: “© 2025 Birthrights Unlimited.”
Author J.D. Lasica is available for media appearances and speaking engagements.