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[AV Media Matters] news story about CD & fungus

Please excuse the sensationalist story below from the "Telegraph" in
England via the net.  But there may be a fragment of truth here worth



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

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.

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