"A what?" said Miles. "Simplify, please."
Weddell flashed a pained smile, doubtless searching his mind for words of one syllable. Miles regretted his last four beers. "A little bug that eats things," Weddell essayed, by way of further translation.
"Not that simplified," said Miles dryly.
―Layman's terms for Miles from Weddell[src]

A bioengineered apoptotic prokaryote was a little bug that ate things (and then died after a time).

  • bioengineered: somebody designed it.
  • apoptotic: after a certain amount of time it was designed to destroy itself.
  • prokaryote: very little "bug" with almost no capabilities other than to eat, reproduce, and die.

One of these was created by a Jacksonian House, possibly House Bharaputra despite Dr. Weddell's non-recognition of the project, for the purpose of destroying Simon Illyan's memory chip. This particular bug was a modification of a standard medical one for clearing plaque from brain cells; thus, the bioengineering of apoptotic prokaryotes was within the realm of standard medical technology for the Vorkosigan Saga during Miles Vorkosigan's lifetime.


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