Biology Project By: Ayla 2/1/2016

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Shape & Respiration

One of 3 different shapes:

  • Bacilli- Rod shaped
  • Cocci- Spherical shaped
  • Spirilla- Curved shaped

One of 2 different respiratory types:

  • Anaerobic Bacteria- Does not need oxygen to breathe
  • Aerobic Bacteria- Does need oxygen to breathe

Characteristics of Bacteria

  • Unicellular microorganism
  • Prokaryote
  • Can be either an autotroph or a heterotroph
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Cell Walls/ How They Move

The cell wall in bacteria is composed of peptidoglycans. Inside the cell wall are disaccharides and amino acids, which are used for structural support.

Bacteria move around using either their cilia or flagella.

Bacteria: The Good, The Bad, The Kinda Gross
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How They Obtain Energy & Reproduce

Bacteria can obtain energy by either consuming other organisms or producing their own source of energy. (Can be either a heterotroph or an autotroph).

Bacteria reproduce by a process called binary fission. Binary fission is when a single cell divides into two identical daughter cells. The process starts when the DNA replicates itself. After that, the cell just grows to twice its originally size, and then it splits.

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How Are Bacteria Harmful & Helpful?


  • Are the cause of food poisoning
  • Are the cause of wound infection
  • Can be found in untreated water, the ingestion of this could cause vomiting, stomach cramps, and flu-like symptoms
  • Some act as plant pathogens, which may lead to major food shortages.


  • Aids in digestion
  • Production of cheese and yogurt
  • Makes nitrogen found in the atmosphere into usable nitrogen in soil
  • Breaks down dead organisms

Why are bacteriophage harmful?

Bacteriophage infects and then destroys bacteria. This could be harmful because the bacteriophage would be destroying the "good" bacteria in our body. (Ex: the bacteria that helps us digest our food)

If bacteriophage infected and destroyed the "bad" bacteria in our body, then that would be very helpful.

In History- Bacteria that have killed large numbers of people

  • "White Death" (Tuberculosis) -In the late early and late 1800's affected a large amount of people in Sri Lanka
  • "Black Plague" -out broke Europe in 1347, killed 20-30 million people
  • Gonorrhea- Have affected up to this day, 62 million people
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-Treatments for tuberculosis include taking antibiotics.

-Gonorrhea treatments include taking antibiotics.

-Treatments for Lyme Disease include taking antibiotics.

(All of these also include seeing a specialist)

Interesting Facts

  • All the bacteria in our body weighs about 4 lbs.
  • The "smell of rain" is caused by bacteria.
  • Chocolate has an anti-bacterial effect on the mouth and protects against tooth decay.
  • Babies are born with no bacteria in their bodies.
  • Lined up end to end, they would stretch about 10 billion light years.