Film and Bacteria
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
What are the circumstances and what is the name of the
bacteria? Where might I find such entities?
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
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.
Curator of the Virtual Museum of Bacteria
Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives
Update: June 2012