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Biotech Science

Glowing Fish are First Genetically Engineered Pets 361

securitas writes "It was bound to happen. Texas-based biotechnology company Yorktown Technologies will start selling a 'genetically engineered aquarium fish that glows in the dark.' The trademarked GloFish -- 'a tropical zebra fish infused with the gene of a sea anemone that makes it glow fluorescent red' -- is first genetically engineered pet. The possible consequences of introducing a new trangenic species into the environment has touched off a debate that has critics such as the National Academies of Science and the Center for Food Safety calling for a ban on the sale of the fish unless the FDA regulates and approves it. The fish go on sale in January 2004. You can see photos of the GloFish here. Cool, but it's no Blinky." M : I think these guys are marketing the fish for a Taiwanese company.
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Glowing Fish are First Genetically Engineered Pets

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  • Bummer (Score:5, Funny)

    by Durin_Deathless ( 668544 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:10PM (#7537044) Homepage
    From their FAQ:
    What if a fluorescent zebra fish is eaten? Eating a fluorescent zebra fish is the same as eating any other zebra fish. Their fluorescence is derived from a naturally occurring gene and is completely safe for the environment. Just as eating a blue fish would not turn a predator blue, eating a fluorescent fish would not make a predator fluoresce.

    Bummer, I was hoping to see fluorescent cats!
  • by crass751 ( 682736 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:10PM (#7537048) Homepage
    Now if only someone could genetically engineer a fish that didn't die within a week.

    I've had about 5 fish, only one of them lived longer than a week.

    • by richy freeway ( 623503 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:17PM (#7537100)
      Or genetically modify people to look after fish better. :P
    • Same here!

      First I though they *jumped* out...
      ...but it seems I have a (bad) cat!

    • Re:A Real Challenge (Score:3, Informative)

      by Klowner ( 145731 )
      Actually I'm pretty sure these "Zebra Fish" are actually Zebra Danios, at least they appear to be zebra danios..

      I have 3 zebra danios, and considering how little I actually clean my aquarium, they are extremely resilient little fish. I'm talking on-par with goldfish as far as hardiness. There is also a long-fin variety of danios that are quite pretty, I'd like to see some glow in the dark long finned ones.

      Anyway, my point is, any idiot that can keep half-way decent water in a tank, should be able to kee
  • by herulach ( 534541 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:10PM (#7537049) Homepage
    With a few of these and one of these [slashdot.org] you'd have a way cool case.

    Who needs cold cathodes?

  • Novelty Item (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KD5YPT ( 714783 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:10PM (#7537051) Journal
    You know, this has gone too far. Genetic engineering just for the heck of it? What purpose do a glowing fish have?
    • by Richard_L_James ( 714854 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:14PM (#7537076)
      What purpose do a glowing fish have? 1) No need to install lights in fish tanks/ponds 2) Makes nightime fishing easier 3) You can actually see your food during the candle lit dinner with your girlfriend.... :-)
    • The thing is, its this sort of off the wall development that can spark great never-before-possible ideas.

      For example they would make a way cool lighting system if you had transparent walls or tanks inserted into walls for bars or very expensive houses.
    • Re:Novelty Item (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Morgahastu ( 522162 ) <bshel@@@WEEZERro ... my fave bands n> on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:19PM (#7537113) Journal
      The lessons learned in engineering a new breed of fish can be used in the future to say, engineer cancer fighting genes.

      This is just a side effect of a useful experiment, why not make some money from it and raise awareness for genetic engineering?
      • Re:Novelty Item (Score:5, Informative)

        by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:46PM (#7537286) Homepage Journal
        Yep. Grandparent is a troll, but his question is common enough that it's worth answering.

        Genetic engineering is hard work. Just as mechanical engineers build prototypes to test their ideas before going into full-scale production, so do genetic engineers (and, actually, every other type of engineer I can think of.) As I mentioned in another post, we breed glowing mice at my work; it took about five years of basic research and another three years of trial and error to get a strain of true-breeding* GFP** mice.

        Are these mice useful for anything in themselves? Well, actually, they are; it turns out the GFP gene is a useful marker for other genes that don't express quite so dramatically. But that really wasn't the point. The point was to learn how to implant certain genes -- say, genes that are a risk factor for certain kinds of cancer, or genes for resistance to AIDS, or genes to produce useful drugs -- in a true-breeding strain of mice. Now that technology is understood, and it can usefully be applied to all the examples I gave and many more.

        No one gets upset when Ford builds a concept car, for God's sake.

        * True-breeding means that the children of parents with these characteristics will reliably have the characteristics themselves.

        ** Green Fluorescent Protein. IIRC, originally found in jellyfish.
    • You can take the plastic fish out of your Lian-Li Aquarium side panel, and put these in - great if you're already building a UV computer!
    • Yeah, this really is horrible. It's almost as bad as buying a general-purpose computer just to play games on it!
    • What purpose do you have?
    • Re:Novelty Item (Score:5, Informative)

      by papasui ( 567265 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @04:28PM (#7537740) Homepage
      From glofish.com:

      Where do fluorescent zebra fish come from?

      Fluorescent zebra fish were specially bred to help detect environmental pollutants. By adding a natural fluorescence gene to the fish, scientists are able to quickly and easily determine when our waterways are contaminated. The first step in developing these pollution detecting fish was to create fish that would be fluorescent all the time. It was only recently that scientists realized the public's interest in sharing the benefits of this research. We call this the GloFish (TM) fluorescent fish.

  • by Richard_L_James ( 714854 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:11PM (#7537060)
    Glowing Fish are First Genetically Engineered Pets

    I bet cats will indirectly become the second ;-)
  • Old news (Score:5, Informative)

    by StrawberryFrog ( 67065 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:11PM (#7537061) Homepage Journal
    This is old news. These may be other glowing fish, as they are from Taiwan, but you can get the details
    Here [enn.com] or here [mongabay.com]
    • Wait a minute, are you implying that our beloved corporate media is slow at providing us news; that we have read their news weeks or months earlier through non-U.S. media sources on the Internet? I remind you to hold your lip young man, lest you jeopardize our access to our God Given Right of a 24-hour Michael Jackson Watch and hourly updates on Britney's breast size. Damn you! I will not have you question our democracy and endanger our very way of life! Love it or leave it! Please, the exit is to your left
  • This should torment cats at night.
  • Honolulu technique (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:19PM (#7537114)
    This sounds a lot like what happened here at the Univeristy of Hawaii. They cloned mice and threw in a little jellyfish in the process to make the mice flourescent. "Four of the mice are fluorescent; they glow green under black light. The glow comes from modified gene protein from jellyfish, which "is a quick demonstration that they are transgenic," said researcher Istefo Moisyadi."

    http://starbulletin.com/2001/02/06/news/story11. ht ml
  • red eh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by DaBjork ( 575727 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:20PM (#7537120)
    Couldn't they have chosen a better color than red? I just have this image of a kid curled up in bed at night, unable to sleep staring at this ominous red glowing fish all night.
  • I'm waiting for a cool genetically-engineered pet, like a saber-tooth tiger (preferrably, to borrow a line, "Identical in every way, but 1/8 the size"). Now that would be worth having!
    • A Sabre tooth!!

      Why pray tell would you want a powerful predator for a pet? Even at 1/8 size it will still be a vicious beastie with sharp pointy teeth and quite capable of inflicting serious damage on you.
      • a vicious beastie with sharp pointy teeth and quite capable of inflicting serious damage on you

        So is my cat.

        • Both capable and willing, I should add *looks at his scratched arm*
        • Well, imagine your cat with teeth 3 times as big as it's current arsenal.

          I, for one, will welcome our new miniature sabre tooth domestic cat overlords... err, wouldn't want one biting my finger off, that is.
      • Before domestication, both your friendly neighborhood dog and cat would have been vicious beasties with sharp pointy teeth, and they were quite capable of inflicting serious damage on you (hell, you should see my current cat when the vacuum cleaner comes on). What makes you think it can't be done with another powerful predator?

        And to actually answer your question, It'd be a cool, unique pet, and I already like cats a lot. Plus, why not? I suppose in a worst-case scenario, it being 1/8 normal size plus th
      • Yeah. Kind of like a house cat.

        My house cats are 'serious' predators and often take out rabbits and the occasional village of chipmunks (often leaving a nice head or fluffy tail as a present for me at the back door.)

        Fact is MOST 'domesticated' (???) cats are still serious predators. So why NOT a Sabre Tooth?

        Take your average house cat at 7-13 pounds. X8 it up, and you have a nice large man eating feline.
        • " 'domesticated' (???) "

          Yeah, domesticated. They've been bred for centuries by humans to be companions. That makes your average household cat domesticated. The fact that your cat or my dog can't survive in the wild doesn't mean it's not domesticated.
  • GloFish, eh? I think I'll wait for Dopefish [dopefish.com] to be available as pet.
  • by DaneelGiskard ( 222145 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:22PM (#7537143) Homepage
    Look here [userfriendly.org] (and following cartoons :))
    • This has been known about for quite some time. This is just an article about people bitching about it.
  • Wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chess_the_cat ( 653159 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:23PM (#7537149) Homepage
    The trademarked GloFish...is first genetically engineered pet[sic]

    The methods used may be different but just about every breed of dog known to Man has been 'genetically engineered.' For example, I have a Boston Terrier. The Boston was created in 1857 as a dog fighter by breeding English Bulldogs and English Terriers. Therefore, the Boston was engineered. Take any dog and you'll find that someone wanted a dog that could do this or that or was such a size so they went about selecting different existing species and breeding them to create their perfect dog. So many people think that genetic engineering is done with test tubes but any time two species are brought together artificially you are engineering genetics. Mendel was a genetic engineer and he lived in the 1100s.

    • Re:Wrong. (Score:3, Informative)

      Did you mean Gregor Mendel [accessexcellence.org] (1822-1884)?

      Furthermore, Mendel worked primarily with traits of pea plants, which clearly could intermingle in nature. The same is true with dogs - I think if you look around you will find they are not terribly particular about who, when, or where they, ur, cross-breed with.

      I think that the questions most people have about altering DNA stem (pun intended) from the fact that humans are creating results that could never occur in nature.

    • Re:Wrong. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Albanach ( 527650 )
      they went about selecting different existing species and breeding them to create their perfect dog.

      Really? That'd be a neat trick. If you are successful in breeding different species you get infertile offspring - that's what species are, different groups that don't crossbreed to produce fertile offspring. Like crossing a donkey and a horse to make a (normally infertile) mule.

      Now taking two different breeds of dogs (which are both from the same species) and crossbreeding is a type of artificial selection,

      • by autopr0n ( 534291 )
        "Species" is really more of a 'soft' term then any strict definition. After all, we use the word for asexually reproducing organisms as well.
        • The fact we have loose usage of a biological term doesn't mean that the loose usage is correct. Either way, it's not the point - the poster was suggesting that cross breeding dogs which can happen naturally is the same as extracting genes from one type of fish and implanting them into another which doesn't really happen without a whole lot of human intervention. Without even considering the arguments for or against genetic modification of animals, comparing GM to cross-breeding is like comparing chalk to ch
    • Re:Wrong. (Score:5, Informative)

      by dgp ( 11045 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:44PM (#7537273) Journal
      You make a good point but I believe the title refers to the fact that this is a "transgenic" engineering. That is a different ballpark that cross-breeding.

      From m-w.com:
      transgenic - Having chromosomes into which one or more heterologous genes have been incorporated either artificially or naturally

      heterologous - derived from a different species

      The article says: "a tropical zebra fish infused with the gene of a sea anemone that makes it glow fluorescent red." Im no fish expert but i dont think you can breed fish with sea anemones.

      For your analogy to work, you would have to say something like english bulldogs received genes from a silk spider and now has silky smooth dog turds and can walk up walls.
      • If you can get an elephant to make love to a pig, anything is possible.
    • The methods used may be different but just about every breed of dog known to Man has been 'genetically engineered.' [...] Take any dog and you'll find that someone wanted a dog that could do this or that or was such a size so they went about selecting different existing species and breeding them to create their perfect dog.

      A small nitpick regarding your terminology: two organisms that are able to breed to produce offspring are by definition the same species. While you could argue that the Boston Terri

      • A small nitpick regarding your terminology: two organisms that are able to breed to produce offspring are by definition the same species.

        That may be the geneticist's definition, but it isn't common usage. Most people consider lions and tigers to be different species.
      • That operational definition of species isn't without its problems though. Some north american squirrels have a wide distribution across the continent, and they can all interbreed with their neighbors. However if you take one from the extreme north and the extreme south of their distribution they cannot mate. Furthermore there are "ring species", species with a ring shaped distribution. Some of these species have been introduced at one point on the ring, and spread around until they meet on the other side
      • Biology (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SEE ( 7681 )
        A small nitpick regarding your terminology: two organisms that are able to breed to produce offspring are by definition the same species.

        Incorrect. There are breeds of dog that cannot safely interbreed, yet they are all considered the same species. On the other hand, cross-species breeding can happen -- horses and donkeys, lions and tigers, and several "jungle" cats with domestic cats can, even sometimes producing fertile offspring [bbc.co.uk].

        (And that, of course, doesn't even consider the vast numbers of asexual
    • Well, that's "genetic engineering" rougly in same sense nailing things together is "nanotechnology".

      The properties of final "product" may derive from genetics (or properties of very small particles in case of nanotech) but those haven't really been fine tuned. Engineering, sure, but not genetic engineering.

      And different dog breeds are NOT different species. Different species can not, by definition, interbreed and produce fertile descendants (though there are rare exceptions). All dogs of all breeds fall i
    • Not wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KalvinB ( 205500 )
      There's a difference between breeding which requires two animals that can naturally have sex with each other to mix genes naturally...

      (Two people of a different race having children isn't genetic engineering.)

      And genetic engineering which completely removes the neccessity for having two creatures have sex to mix the genes. The entire process is dependent on human intervention.

      The former is natural selection. The latter is intelligent design.

      This fish was given genes from a species it could never natur
  • by Corgha ( 60478 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:24PM (#7537159)
    I'm a little disappointed. These aren't bioluminescent-type glow-in-the-dark fish like the ones that live in the deep sea. They're fluorescent glow-in-the-UV fish like the ones that live in the rave.
    • Yes, bummer indeed. When I first saw this post I thought they had created transgenic fish with luciferase [warwick.ac.uk], the enzyme that makes fireflies glow. Scientists have been inserting that into all sorts of critters recently for legitimate bioassay purposes. This BBC page [bbc.co.uk] has a number of exambles of both flourescent (using jellyfish proteins like these fish) and truly glow-in-the-dark critters.
  • Soooo... (Score:2, Interesting)

    ..if the genetical information of these fish are altered to produce this glowing behaviour, what happens when they breed with "normal" fish or even fish from a different species (as it happens sometimes). Would these have this glowing behaviour as well? What if this new behavious helps these fish to get eaten less by predators (glowing / strong colors often means "dangerous, I'm poisonous" in the animal world if I recall correctly), could it then be that these fish quickly replace their "unenhanced" counter
    • All of the fish sold by this company are infertal.
  • by corvi42 ( 235814 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:39PM (#7537257) Homepage Journal
    My girlfriend is a molecular biologist who worked for a time in a lab where they made glowing animals like this ( mostly worms, but they had some rats also ). The reason, scientifically, for making these creatures is not just for the sake of seeing if you can make them glow. Rather, if you attach the genes for the glowing proteins adjacent to the genes for some other protein you'd like to monitor in the animal's DNA, then the glowing protein will become attached to the target protein, and you can get a snapshot of how active that protein is in the organism by simply turning on a UV light. This is a very useful tool for seeing how a particular gene is expressed in the active biology of the organism, because you can watch where, when and how the proteins which that gene codes for are expressed, and in what cells. The glowing pets is just some creepy Frankensteinian commercial spin-off of this research tool.
  • It's relly to bad that some won't have a single geneticly altered item without rasing havoc. We have been altering plants for centuries by cross breeding. This results in a new type of plant that the changed genes are not controlled. I find that far more disturbing than changing one gene that has a known effect on an organism.

    I realise that there will be things that are genetically altered for the worse. They will either be an experiment or from the mind of someone who intends to do wrong. this is where t
  • Evil Fish! (Score:3, Funny)

    by cyclist1200 ( 513080 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:46PM (#7537290) Homepage
    We all know that these genetically engineered glowing fish are evil [userfriendly.org]!
  • I want glow-in-the-dark anchovies so I can watch LOTR in the dark and still eat pizza!
    • I want glow-in-the-dark anchovies so I can watch LOTR in the dark and still eat pizza!
      But wouldn't you need one ring on the pizza pan to keep the pizza from falling apart? You know, to bring the ingredients together and in the darkness bind them? (Or was that olive oil?)
  • What would be really neat would be to be able to control the glow, so cat walks on by and fish pulses (extra kudos if the pulses go -X-X-X--X-X-X-X--X-X--XX-, X=pulse, repeating) and gentle mac-standby-button pulsing for normal behaviour :-)


  • by banks ( 205655 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @02:52PM (#7537321) Homepage
    There seems to be this weird misconception going on here....

    These "GloFish" DO NOT glow in the dark. They fluoresce red under a black light (UV radiation, for those of us who care). But from everything I've read, they don't emit any light at all in the absence of external UV. None. So, that pretty much makes them "Glow-in-the-LIGHT fish."

    Now, I'm not entirely suprised that the NYTimes doesn't understand that difference, but slashdotters should be able to.

  • Will they sue me for copyright infringement if my GloFishes breed ? I'm pretty sure Monstanto would (they already do over grain).

    I can see the "SCO sues over GloFishes' IP" jokes already. But think about it: med labs will eventually come up with gene therapies for more common genetic illnesses (glaucoma, some forms of diabetes, etc...). That would mean patients treated with such therapies would hold some the labs' copyrighted DNA in their body, which would get replicated on ARN and transmitted, etc... Will
  • and thanks for all the radiation.
  • by Myrmidon ( 649 )
    These fish may be new to the pet trade, but they have been used for years by biologists to study growth and development. Fluorescent zebrafish are excellent experimental subjects, because:
    • They breed like wildfire and are easy to raise in large numbers. (Imagine a big, big wall of fishtanks.)
    • Their embryos are a convenient size and are completely transparent - you can see every organ in their bodies.
    • You can watch the embryos continuously under the microscope for hours, or even days, at a time. (This is n
  • Cats are being genetically engineered [avma.org] to make them hypo-allergenic. I would love to see a follow-up on the above article, it's been a year and I want my non-sniffly cats soon please!
  • All the hysteria about genetic engineered beasties is just crazy. So what if they escape? It's just more biodiversity. So what if they replace native populations of lesser-splodged-mudslurpers? That's evolution in action, baby!

    Glowy fish are good! I want some!
  • by Glowing Fish ( 155236 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @03:06PM (#7537381) Homepage

    I can assure the world that I am Mostly Harmless.

  • Cabbits (Score:3, Funny)

    by rlp ( 11898 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @03:08PM (#7537384)
    Personally, I'm waiting for cabbits. But only the ones that transform into either spacecraft or mechas.
  • consequences of introducing a new trangenic species into the environment has touched off a debate that has critics such as the National Academies of Science and the Center for Food Safety calling for a ban on the sale of the fish

    Even if a few sexually active specimen get into the wild, I doubt a fish that is unable to turn off its "come and eat me" sign is going to last long enough to find a mate that isn't already scared-off by the horny lightbulb trying to have sex with it.

    = 9J =

  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @03:30PM (#7537495) Homepage Journal
    The mindless anti-GM zelots who protest every GM creature without good reason really piss me off. No matter the organism, no matter the modification, they are against it - not because they have a real REASON or anything, but because "It's GM, it must be bad!"

    I am not saying "all GM is good, let's go" - quite the contrary:
    • I am against BT-enhanced corn - not because it may kill butterflies, but because it guarantees that a perfectly good insecticide will be rendered USELESS in a few years. Rather than making a BT based spray, and using it ONLY in cases of severe infestation, and then making sure you KILL ALL THE BUGS, it will now be used everywhere, no matter what, but at a level that will allow the naturally resistant bugs to live, breed, and dominate!
    • I am against the various Monsanto "self-destructing" breeds of wheat, because that just is one more way in which farming is converted from a relatively self-sufficient and sustainable activity into an activity dependant upon the corporations to survive. Instead of farmers being able to get next year's seed from this year's harvest, they have to go back to Monsanto every year. Improve wheat all you want, guys, but the same arguments RMS makes about software apply to crops - cost to create high, cost to replicate LOW, so GPL them (or at least Aladdin license them!) In twenty years when Monsanto's patents on those strains expire, will you see Monsanto create a strain without the self-destruct gene, or will Monsanto just let the parent stocks die?
    • Worry about introducing a new lifeform into a biosphere forigen to it - but the cain toad has done more damage than this fish ever will, and the cain toad wasn't gene-tweaked! Being gene-tweaked is not sufficent nor necessary cause to be damaging to an ecosystem!

    The mindless anti-GM zelots can prevent things that really help - I would love to see a GM crop that fixed nitrogen like a legume, yielded lots of bio-desiel and plastic precursors, and could be grown year after year in brackish soil, concentrating the salt in the stalks - imagine the boost to the environment and the boost to the third world farmer! But you can bet that, even if an RMS-inspired botanist created such a crop and released it free of charge (think George Washington Carver), the mindless anti-GMers would prevent it from seeing the light of day!

    In short, BE worried about things, but have a clearly reasoned, well thought through idea of WHY you are worried - not just because the thing has "scary" words in it like "genetically modified", "nuclear", or "diesel"!
    • "But you can bet that, even if an RMS-inspired botanist created such a crop and released it free of charge (think George Washington Carver), the mindless anti-GMers would prevent it from seeing the light of day!"

      I think you attribute far too much power to the 'anti-GMers'. Here in the US the 'mindless anti-GMers' (all twelve of them) have essentially been powerless to do anything. At this point in time in the US corporate interests trump any others, and Monsanto has been given a free pass to do whatever
  • And it's probably a good thing for the people who created them that they are. Danios (these fish are more correctly referred to as "zebra danios") are incredibly easy to breed, and if they weren't sterile, you'd see them at Wal-Mart for twenty-seven cents plus tax soon. However, I've never seen this sort of thing before - fish are all pretty "open source" and breeders are pretty much allowed to do as they please with them. I can't help but thinking that excessive use of forced copyright (via sterilizatio
  • by vidnet ( 580068 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @03:49PM (#7537588) Homepage
    It sure beats the old method of injecting fish with a dye [practicalf...ping.co.uk].

    Much better for the individual fish.

  • the idea isn't new: userfriendly.org, the world's
    best online comic strip, has advocated the


    a couple of weeks ago...
  • by jhines ( 82154 ) <john@jhines.org> on Saturday November 22, 2003 @04:04PM (#7537643) Homepage
    Zebra fish are difficult, but not impossible for the hobbyist to breed, what happens then?

    Since the fish is covered by patent, what happens to the next generations? Are aquarists going to fall into the same trap as farmers, where they can't replant patented products?
  • from the site:

    Because fluorescent fish are unique, their sale is covered by a substantial number of patents and pending patent applications.

    The production of fluorescent fish by any other party, or the sale of any fluorescent fish not originally distributed by 5-D Tropical or Segrest Farms, is strictly prohibited.

    Who wants to join my GNU/Fish project ?
  • According to one of the articles:

    They also plan to introduce multicolour fluorescent pet fish, including red, purple and blue.

    It would be interesting to see where the gene is being added. If it were in the right place (skin development) then you could have stripy glow-in-the-dark fish.
  • by RALE007 ( 445837 ) on Saturday November 22, 2003 @06:49PM (#7538587)
    Uhm, it wasn't a company in Texas that made the breakthrough, it was a company in Taiwan, and they did it 5 months ago. I recall reading an article about it on the BBC [bbc.co.uk].

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray