Von Neumann's quintessential message: Genotype + ribotype = phenotype

Daniel Mange, Moshe Sipper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this short article we argue that von Neumann's quintessential message with respect to self-replicating automata is genotype + ribotype = phenotype. Self-replication of his universal constructor occurs in analogy to nature: The description (genotype) written on the input tape is translated via a ribosome (ribotype) so as to create the offspring universal constructor (phenotype).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-227
Number of pages3
JournalArtificial Life
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Genotype
  • Phenotype
  • Ribotype
  • Self-replicating machines
  • Universal constructor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Artificial Intelligence


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