Part 177Update 176
Today we're crossing the island yet again to make a settlement safe for the Harbormen on behalf of Little Bertha, because that's what they need to get their groove back. In practice this means making our way over there and killing some fog ghouls and a crazy cannibal trapper, which you might have noticed by now is kind of a recurring theme on the island. Turning in all of our quests nets us a level up, and now how the Harbormen are going to get across the island to that settlement is their own problem. That's not a complaint about Bethesda not throwing in an escort mission or something, it's literally not my problem and I'm happy about that.
Nancy is talking about the disease Kuru, at least that's what it's called in humans. It's caused by eating mis formed proteins. Because they're proteins and not a virus or bacteria, there's really no anti-bacterial or anti-viral treatment for it, and you can't inoculate against it. Brain and spinal matter are where these prions occur most often, but can be found in other meat, and are most easily transmitted by eating meat/brain matter of your own spices. Sometimes other species can be affected by them, but that's much less common. However, during the mad cow scares, there were enough probably infected cows that it significantly increased the risk. If you're NOT grinding up your slaughterhouse leavings and feeding them to your other cows, you may still see it occasionally in your stock, but it will have such a low incidence rate that it will almost never transfer to humans.
The only way to make infected meat safe to eat is to cook it long and hot enough to denature the protein, which pretty much destroys all nutritional value and taste (see also: burned to ash).
Neat! I love when science talk gets brought in and I learn something. As a note, some blood drives ban me from donating because I was in Europe during a mad cow scare back in the 80s.