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The information encoded (see encoding) in the genetic material with which all living organisms are endowed. The carrier of this information is a complex structure of dna. It represents an organism's biological inheritance and controls that organism's development, reproduction and self-repair. Within an organism, genetic information flows from dna to protein and other products, first, by the transcription of portions of the dna into so-called messenger rna and, second, by the assembly of individual amino acids into polypeptides, including proteins. Thus the growth of an organism is controlled. The absence of a mechanism that could reverse the direction of this flow from proteins to dna is the basis for the fact that the experiences an organism makes during its life time cannot be inherited by biological means (see culture). Changes in the intergenerational communication of genetic information result from mutations (see noise) and are the target of natural selection (see evolution). (Krippendorff)
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