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Name: David
Status: Other
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

I am a filmmaker interested in experimenting with film stock which has been "eaten" by bacteria. Film stock is partially made up of gelatin from animal hoofs I believe, so I am guessing that there is some kind of bacteria that might find it yummy under the right circumstances.

What are the circumstances and what is the name of the bacteria? Where might I find such entities?

David, This is an interesting question. Your assumption is not incorrect: gelatin can be a carbon source for bacteria. However, bacteria also need humidity, and most hate extreem pH. I have not come across any bacteria that eat film, and my guess is that the dry storage and pH of the material, are sufficiently protective. Chemical degradation of film is much more of a problem, and is dependent on humidity and temperature. The article at

may not bring that much news to you but at least it doesn't list bacteria as a potential hazard to films. I found no reference on bacteria degrading films in the literature. It seems not to be a problem.

Trudy Wassenaar
Curator of the Virtual Museum of Bacteria

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