The Role of Bacteria in the World

Rachel and Meghana

Good for the environment

•Some bacteria can cause disease, but many are helpful to us.

•Nitrogen-fixing bacteria consume nitrogen in the air and change it into a form that plants can use.

•Decomposing bacteria make nutrients available again to living things that can use them.

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How it has helps humans

•People have been able to genetically engineer bacteria since 1973.

•Scientists can engineer bacteria for medicines, insecticides, cleansers, adhesives, foods and many other products.

Uses for Bacteria

•Some bacteria are used to make antibiotics that kill bacteria.

•Some make insulin, which is a substance needed by the body to properly use sugars and carbohydrates.

•Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, and sour cream are all made with bacteria.

•Lactic-acid bacteria make lactic acid to use as a preservative for foods.


Bacteria play a vital role in digestion for humans. In humans, bacteria naturally found in our digestive system is called natural flora. They feed on leftover food in our digestive system and in return produce beneficial chemicals such as vitamin K, biotin, and amino acids.


Bacteria is also an important component to our ecosystems as some can cycle nitrogen in the soil, which is a vital component for plants. They also cycle other important gasses such as nitrogen and sulfur. Bacteria help decompose organic matter, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and return them back to the environment.

Bacteria plays a much larger role in our world then we think. It covers almost every surface of our bodies, our homes and even our food! But don't worry, a lot of bacteria is actually good for you!