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Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax, a deadly disease in cattle and a potential bioweapon against humans
.Brucella abortus causes breeding losses in livestock.
Cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae) live in water, where they produce large amounts of the oxygen we breathe.
Escherichia coli (a.k.a. E. coli) lives in the gut, where it helps digest food and produces Vitamin K. The "bad" strain of E. coli O157:H7 causes severe foodborne sickness.
Lactobacillus bulgaricus helps turn milk into cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products.
Bacterium tuberculosism Mycoba causes tuberculosis, a major killer from the past that has recently resurged with the advent of AIDS.
Rhizobia convert free nitrogen into a form that the plants can use in order to grow.
Staphylococcus (a.k.a. staph) can cause serious infections and is one of the most drug-resistant bacteria.
Streptococcus pneumoniae causes strep throat, meningitis, and pneumonia.
Streptomyces griseus makes the antibiotic streptomycin.
Thermus aquaticus is a heat-loving bacterium from which scientists got the enzyme Taq polymerase that makes routine DNA fingerprinting and gene sequencing possible.