Until this point we have assumed, correctly, that DNA, through mRNA, contains the information necessary to direct the processes of protein synthesis and translation. But at this point, before getting into the actual processes of translation, it is important to move beyond the general knowledge that DNA and mRNA contain information: we must learn how DNA and mRNA hold their information before we can understand how that information is translated. Further, understanding the way DNA and mRNA hold information also allows us to see how errors in that information system, whether caused during replication or at some other point, can cause havoc through mutations that will affect protein synthesis, and thus the vital functions of the cell.