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"None of us, no matter what continent or island or ice cap, asked to be born in the first place, and that even somebody as old as I am, which is 80, only just got here."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Microde  
  A tailored virus, that infects the selected person, and passes on whatever characteristics have been implanted in the virus.  

In the near future world of Armed Memory, most people have made some sort of modification to their own body. Let's just say they've gone a bit beyond the usual piercing and tattooing:

I wouldn't have recognized him because he'd had himself microded into a wolfman, except that he was wearing a Minnesota Vikings muscle shirt. That made me look at him carefully, and beneath all the hair, and even with the snout and the canine teeth, I could see it was him. There isn't a whole lot to getting microded. They draw a little blood, separate out your genes and splice them with whatever else you need. After that, they pack it into a synthetic virus, shoot you full of it, and the virus infects every cell in your body. Within a couple of weeks you can start to tell what you're going to look like when it's over.
From Armed Memory, by Jim Smith.
Published by Tor in 1995
Additional resources -

Microde is just the next logical step in making a personal statement with your body.

Built your dream body with microde - and you want that big brain you've always needed? You might want to become a bubblehead (big-head brainiacs) from The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrytch by Philip K. Dick.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Armed Memory
  More Ideas and Technology by Jim Smith
  Tech news articles related to Armed Memory
  Tech news articles related to works by Jim Smith

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