Bacteria are simple organisms that our naked eyes cannot see. They are found in different places, including inside organisms like the human body. Moreover, bacteria are also found outside organisms like in our environment. Bacteria have significant benefits to our lives. Human beings and other animals couldn’t survive without bacteria. It doesn’t mean that all bacteria are helpful; some also have adverse effects. This article will focus on the benefits of bacteria in our environment and lives. Therefore, if you are looking for the importance of bacteria, you are at the right place. We have compiled a list of bacteria’s benefits in our ecosystem.
1. Act as decomposers
In farming, manure is essential in crop and plant production. Farmers also make their manure on farms which is then used for their crops. The process of making manure takes time, and bacteria help in the decomposition of materials. Therefore, without bacteria, there will be no decomposition of materials and waste products. Without the deterioration of materials and waste, life wouldn’t be the same. This is one great use of bacteria in our environment.
2. Making of drugs
Some of the Drugs and vaccines depend on Bacteria to produce them. We have antibiotics that help the human body get rid of disease-causing germs. We have specific types of bacteria which help in the manufacture of antibiotics. Antibiotics such as Streptomycin depend on Bacteria for their manufacturing process. Antibiotic helps in preventing certain human diseases. Therefore, bacteria have a significant role in making that drug helpful in our lives.
3. Making Biogas
Biogas is used in cooking, and bacteria play an essential role in its production. Usually, the primary raw material for making Biogas is cow dung. The cow dung must produce methane gas which is used in lighting fires. To produce methane gas, bacteria need to act on the dung. Therefore, bacteria must be involved in the production of methane. Hence the production of methane is also one of its uses.
4. Gene therapy
Gene therapy is the transfer of genes that are normal to human cells. Bacteria helps in this process which is very important for medical uses.
5. Convert milk into useful daily products
Bacteria have been used for a long to create milk products. They can convert milk into essential dairy products like yogurt, Cheese, buttermilk, and more. Buttermilk is produced when milk is inoculated alongside the culture of Lactococcus (L.lactis). Yogurt, Cheese, and other milk products are also made in a similar way but with different cultures of bacteria.
6. Production of vinegar
Bacteria take part in the production of vinegar. Alcohol undergoes the process of oxidation to produce Acetic acid, then produces vinegar. Moreover, the acetobacter bacteria ferment fruit juices to form vinegar.
7. Production of alcohol
Breweries are produced through the fermentation process, including traditional liquors. Through sugar fermentation, alcohol is produced as the end product. Ethanol is a product found in alcoholic drinks. Ethanol has been produced from yeast over the years. Brewing companies use this fermentation method to produce ethanol with the help of a particular type of bacteria. This is one great benefit of bacteria in industries.
8. Tanning of leather
We have leather products that are useful to human beings. But do you know that the process of coming up with leather depends on bacteria? A certain bacteria type is used in curing animal skin and hide. This process helps in coming up with leather which produces several things. For instance, we have leather shoes, sofas, jackets, and more. Those are some of the products made from leather material. Therefore, bacteria are essential in making leather to make other products.
9. Retting of fibers
This is another excellent benefit of bacteria. We have Jute fiber which is made softer by some bacteria. Moreover, fiber is also separated by bacteria. Therefore, bacteria have a significant role in the Retting of fibers.
10. Formation of compost and manure
We mentioned earlier that bacteria help in the decomposition process. The formation of manure requires the decomposition process. Therefore, farmers making manure typically benefits from Bacteria which help to break down the waste. It doesn’t matter which type of manure, whether farmyard manure, compost manure, or more. Bacteria are essential in every kind of manure, and they include animal waste which is broken down.
11. Fixation of nitrogen
Plants require nitrogen to increase their production. Leguminous plants contain a certain type of bacteria in their roots which help to fix nitrogen in the soil. The nitrogen in the ground will help plants in production.
12. Making graphene
Graphene is a nanomaterial of single-layered carbon atoms possessing extraordinary properties. Scientists have now discovered the use of bacteria in the production of graphene. The kind of bacteria used to produce more stable and thinner graphene is called Shewanella.
13. Mopping up oil spills
When oil spills down accidentally, the environment will experience different side effects. Oil is not like water which will infiltrate into the soil easily. Therefore, bacteria play an essential role in quickly mopping the oil from the surface. The mopping of oil spills will help prevent future disasters caused by bacteria.
14. Detecting Arsenic
University of Edinburgh scientists developed a biosensor. The biosensor uses bacteria to detect unsafe Arsenic levels in drinking water. Arsenic contamination has adverse health effects on millions of people globally. They can result in diseases like cancer and then cause death. Scientists now use bacteria to determine the levels of arsenic elements.
15. Finding tumors
MIT scientists, in 2015, made a modified bacteria that they used to detect tumors in mice. The mouse was fed with a harmless GM bacteria, which produces a luminescent signal when it is affected by tumors. The luminescent is detected in urine, and even small tumors of about 1 square millimeter are also seen. Scientists are trying to implement this technique in human beings
16. Cutting plastic waste
In 2006, one scientist identified a specific type of bacteria that consumes plastics. The bacteria contain two enzymes that break down plastics to form two components. The component produced can be used in synthesizing new plastics. Scientists are researching optimizing the enzymes to make the recycling process more effective.