Walter Mencken 4 p.m., Dec. 14
Local Biomedical Company Creates Sexually Transmitted Diabetes
COWERING IN A HAZMAT SUIT, SOMEWHERE IN SORRENTO VALLEY - In a move that seems destined to upset fans of unprotected, non-monogamous sex, Biomedical development company Pathogenesis today announced that it was introducing SXXY - a genetically modified instigator of diabetes that can be transmitted during various forms of sexual contact - into the general population.
"We know there's going to be a certain amount of push back," said Pathogenesis CEO Rory Najisuansmee. "Because it's true - short-term, some people are going to get diabetes who would not ordinarily have been at risk. But long-term, we think people will understand that we here at Pathogenesis are in the business of saving lives, and that Operation Sweetlove, as we're calling it, is just part of that business."
Pressed for something resembling an explanation, Najisuansmee replied, "Take an easy example. Right now, KPBS is doing a three part series on the AIDS epidemic in San Diego County. And by 'epidemic,' they mean 7,300 deaths in 30 years. That averages out to something like 243 deaths a year. Diabetes kills double that, easy. But nobody's shining a spotlight on a disease whose risk factors include poor diet and obesity, because obviously - eww.
"That would be okay, except where the spotlight shines, the research dollars follow. We needed to find a way to link diabetes with something sexy - like sex! It's just good sense: people like to get their groove on, and few things kill the mood like the thought of developing a life-threatening medical condition as a result of said grooving. The need for research, which up until now has been relatively easy to ignore, will suddenly become blazingly clear."
So sometimes you have to spread a disease to stop a disease?
"In a nutshell," nodded Najisuansmee.