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The Importance of Identifying Unknown Bacteria

By Grace Baney ; Updated July 27, 2017

According to the European Molecular Biology Organization, approximately only one percent of all estimated amounts of bacteria has currently been discovered and fully studied. This shockingly minimal percentage lends credence to the idea that increasing humankind’s knowledge of unknown bacteria could have great future benefits.

Known For

Bacteria are mostly known for causing disease or harming the health of humans. But not all bacteria should be viewed this way; some are essential to our existence and keep our food chain from collapsing. Others prove beneficial to humans, such as those that are found naturally in some of our favorite foods.


Discovering and studying new bacteria can lead to new innovations and possible cures for existing or future diseases. The investigation of these new bacteria can also help incubate ourselves or act quickly in response to an invasive strain.


One of the great disasters in human history was caused by bacteria--the Plague. During the Middle Ages and again in the 19th century, millions of people succumbed to infection by the bacteria Yersinia Petis.

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