The digital code of DNA

Nature. 2003 Jan 23;421(6921):444-8. doi: 10.1038/nature01410.


The discovery of the structure of DNA transformed biology profoundly, catalysing the sequencing of the human genome and engendering a new view of biology as an information science. Two features of DNA structure account for much of its remarkable impact on science: its digital nature and its complementarity, whereby one strand of the helix binds perfectly with its partner. DNA has two types of digital information--the genes that encode proteins, which are the molecular machines of life, and the gene regulatory networks that specify the behaviour of the genes.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Computational Biology
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Human Genome Project
  • Humans
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Systems Analysis


  • DNA