Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Coding plays a universal and pervasive role in biological organization, in forms such as genetic coding (DNA to protein translation), RNA processing, gene regulation, protein modification, cell signalling, immune responses, epigenetic development and natural language. Nevertheless, the ways and means by which organic codes are formed and used are still poorly understood. A formal model is presented in this paper to investigate the emergence of conventional codes among code users. The relationship between the formation and the usage of codes is discussed, and a biological mechanism involving coding is identified in the context of the immune system. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.