A code is "a system of rule(s) for converting a piece of information (for example, a letter, word, phrase, or gesture) into another form or representation (one sign into another sign), not necessarily of the same type" (source) In other words, codes allow the transfer of information between two different languages. For example, when we talk about the Morse code, or the ASCII code, we refer to the system of rules that describes how to move information between two different languages - one, the alphabet of letters and symbols in which this text appears to you, and the other is a simpler language of just two different symbols (traditionally shown as dots-and-dashes for Morse Code, or 0's-and-1's for ASCII).
In this sense, news media often use the phrase "genetic code" misleadingly when they refer to the genetic information stored within DNA (for example, "Cracking the Genetic Code of Brown Tides"). DNA itself is not a genetic code (any more than the sequence of symbols "100000" encodes specific information - it could mean "one hundred thousand" if we read it as a number in base10, or "thirty two" if we read it as a number written in binary. It could even mean "g" if we read it as ASCII code.) In other words, information is not a code in itself - the code is what tells us how to interpret one language in terms of another. Accordingly, biologists use the phrase genetic code to refer to the system of rules by which living organisms convert the information stored within genes into living metabolism. Specifically, living organisms store genetic information as a sequence of "chemical letters" (nucleotides) in the alphabet of DNA; they decode this information into sequences of "chemical letters" (amino acids) that make up proteins. A genetic code describes how code-words (codons) comprising nucleotides are translated into amino acids. For example, within the standard genetic code the sequence of three nucleotides guanine-cytosine-adenine (abbreviated to GCA) translates into the amino acid Alanine (abbreviated to Ala or A)
| Morse code||...-||V|
| ASCII code||010101||V|
| Genetic Code||GCA||Alanine (Ala or A)|