archived em-data doomed?

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Mon, 18 Jun 2001 08:54:47 -0800




em-archaeological issue:

ISSUE 2215	Monday 18 June 2001

Scientist finds fungus that eats through compact discs
By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent

http://www.telegraph.co.uk:80/et?ac=000114832908976&rtmo=Vr8fJDqK&atmo=ggggg3JK&pg=/et/01/6/18/wfung18.html

FIRST there was the computer virus. Now scientists have found a
fungus that eats compact discs.

Victor Cardenes, of Spain's leading scientific research body,
stumbled across the microscopic creature two years ago, while
visiting Belize. Friends complained that in the hot and sticky
Central American climate, a CD had stopped working and had developed
an odd discoloration that left parts of it virtually transparent.

Dr Cardenes and colleagues at the Superior Council for Scientific
Research in Madrid discovered a fungus was steadily eating through
the supposedly indestructible disc. The fungus had burrowed into the
CD from the outer edge, then devoured the thin aluminium layer and
some of the data-storing polycarbonate resin.

Dr Cardenes said: "It completely destroys the aluminium. It leaves
nothing behind." Biologists at the council had never seen this
fungus, but concluded that it belonged to a common genus called
geotrichum.

Philips, the Dutch electronics company that invented the compact
disc, said it believed the Belize case was probably a freak incident
caused by extreme weather conditions.


 Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2001.

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