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Bacteria are one of the three great groups of living beings (with the other being archaea and eucaryots). Bacteria have usually only one (or only a few) tiny cell, wich makes them very little : bacteria can't be seen with just the eye, and will need a microscope : they are told microorganisms.
Bacteria are very abundant on every part of Earth : they live in water, on the soil, and even on and inside the other (greather) living beings : for example, your own body contains ten times more bacteria than human cells, and, if put together, all the bacteria in your body would weight about 1 kg !
Don't worry, most of bacteria are harmless, and, even better, many of them are very useful ! Some of them protect us from diseases, or help us to feed, etc.
Some bacteria are responsible of disease : they are more rare, but better known, this is why we often believe that bacteria are harmfull.
Some examples[edit | edit source]
(most of bacteria don't have a common name, just a scientific name)
- the Escherischia coli : it lives in our guts : its is the most common bacteria in the human gut. It is totally harmless, and might help with digestion
- the Lactobacillus : it lives in yogurt, and milk products. It is bred there, because it helps turning the milk into yogurt : it is called a ferment. Other kind of bacteria are also used as ferment, and transform different kind of food.
- Cyanobacteria : they live in water, and are part of the phytoplancton. They use the light of the Sun to thrive : this is photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria, when numerous, often turn the water greenish or blackish.
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