Bacteria ” Bacteria are the smallest things on Earth” (Kowalski). Bacteria can be found on your skin, inside your body, in water, air, and soil. “One characteristic of bacteria is their ability to multiply rapidly when conditions are favorable to them, temperature being one factor” (Kowalski). “Bacteria can be classified into three groups” (Rogers). This classification is determined by their shape. Several of the shapes are bacillus bacteria have rod like shape, focus bacteria have a spherical (round) shape, and spirochete bacteria that have a spiral or corkscrew shape (Vidyasagar). “The cells in bacteria have no nucleus, instead their genetic material is held inside a circular chain of DNA” (Rogers). “Fission is the process which allows bacteria to reproduce” (Kowalski). This process allows a single cell to divide and produce two new cells. Bacterial growth is influenced by temperature, moisture, and ph levels. For example, if too much water enters a bacterial cell it will flood or burst open causing the cell to die. An opposite outcome is when bacteria grows and thrives in very high temperatures. “Some bacteria can grow and multiply when ph levels are above the 6.7 to 7.5 scale normally associated with the ideal condition for growth in that ph level” (Vidyasagar). “Some bacteria do not require oxygen for growth. Anaerobic bacteria can use nitrogen as means for energy they require for growth” ( Kowalski). Bacteria that need oxygen for growth are called aerobic bacteria. Many people associate bacteria as organisms whose only function is to cause disease (Mikesh).That assumption is incorrect. While bacteria is responsible for illness as E-coli or tetanus, it also has several necessary functions helpful to human and plant life. Good bacteria In the digestive process for both animals and people by breaking down certain foods (Kowalski). It also helps in the production of several Vitamins and K vitamins. Some bacteria known as decomposers, break down dead materials which are then utilized as nutrients for plant life (Mikesh). The presence of specific bacteria in our food supply help in the production of cottage cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk (Kowalski). Bacteria is often misunderstood and complicated in some situations, because it can be both useful or harmful to us. The highest number of microbial species are found in the gut (Mikesh). Bacteria thrives well in our digestive system (Kowalski). It appears to be a very comfortable place for them to survive. In a 2014 review article, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, the authors tell us that bacteria in our gut aid indigestion, help prevent large amounts of harmful pathogens from multiplying, and aid in the development and protection of the immune system in our bodies. When a disruption or faulty immune system develops, the bacteria in the gut is attacked and works against a healthy immune system. Several types of bacteria are harmful not helpful to our immune system. Streptococcus pneumoniae causes pneumonia which can be fatal. Another harmful bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli can cause a rare but severe soft tissue infection called Necrotizing Fasciitis. This is most often termed as the “flesh- eating bacteria” This infection affects the tissue surrounding nerves, blood vessels, fat, and muscle. When diagnosed in its early stages, it can be treated effectively. Normally antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infection. However the improper and over prescribed use of antibiotics has led to several types of antibiotics resistant bacteria (Kowalski). This causes infections bacteria to survive and not respond to a helpful antibiotics regimen. Some astonishing information with respect to the durability of some bacteria was reported by a group of biologists in 2008. “They claimed to have reviewed a bacterium that existed 250 million years ago, well before the age of the dinosaurs” ( Science Clarified). This claim was disputed other scientists who stated, “it would be impossible for the bacterium’s DNA (a complex molecule that stores and transmits genetic information) to have survived more than a few thousands years, at best” (Science Clarified). However, scientists and biologists both agree, that bacteria has existed since the beginning of life on Earth, and have the ability to change their form. Over a period of time, they can develop a resistance to antibiotics that are administered by the medical profession to fight diseases and infections. Bacteria and all of its forms, continues to be a subject of interest and study for the scientific and medical professions. Their dedicated research is invaluable to human, animal, and plant health, as well as to their survival.