Somewhere in some FBI file is locked a list of what American’s are most afraid of, and in what order. It’s been a while since I hacked that particular computer, but, if memory serves me correctly, the things that rate highest are:

* Things that can’t be seen. (cancer, A.I.D.S.)
* Things that require a working knowledge of science to understand. (radioactive fallout, electromagnetic impulses)
* Things with scary-sounding names. (Al Qaeda, Hell’s Angels)

Genetic engineering has long qualified for the first two things on this list, and thus are oft-maligned by both the public and the press. But now those Genetic Engineers (who prefer the term “Nature’s Little Helpers”) are striking back by announcing a cure for something that hits all of the big three: Mad Cow Disease.

No matter if this disease makes you think of babbling bulls, herds of charging cows, or just human beings writhing in bed as their brains are being eaten alive, chances are you dislike even so much as the idea that Mad Cow Disease exists. So much so that when you hear the FDA has slaughtered massive numbers of cattle just out the suspicion they might have been infected, you nod your head and feel it’s a sad but necessary action to protect us all. Such is the fear we all have. And why not? It’s Mad Cow Disease, after all. Scary name, invisible to the naked eye, difficult to understand how it works. Hell, you can’t even comfortably pretend it only affects homosexuals. It’s scary stuff.

And even if you don’t find yourself afraid of the disease directly, you are still affected by the billions of dollars lost every year because many countries are afraid of importing American beef. As a result, there’s less money coming into this country. And, therefore, less money flowing to China for those incredible dancing santas they build.

So how are them Genetic Engineers helping us with this truly American tragedy? Well, they’ve created a cow that is free of Prions!

A little embarrassed you didn’t think of it first, huh? A cow sans Prions. It’s so obvious.

Yeah, but what are Prions?

Not to be confused with Toyota’s world-saving publicity-machine, the Prius, Prions are a protein, one produced naturally in healthy cows. But when Prion goes bad, it can become a common form of TSE that is known as BSE …er, I mean, it can horribly mutate into Mad Cow Disease. Scary scary Mad Cow Disease!

There’s going to be a lot of controversy over these genetically-engineered, Prion-free cows, but frankly–now that a cure for that you-know-what disease is well in hand–I’ve grown tired of the subject. I’m gonna go see if there’s anything good on TV.