Often the most common phylum found in the modern human gut microbiome, Firmicutes aid in the digestion of fat, which is required for energy. Previously, these bacteria helped Europeans survive tough winters; however, Firmicutes are now linked to a higher risk of obesity and inflammation. Some Firmicutes are known pathogens for diseases like anthrax, but many Firmicutes are considered commensal bacteria. Beyond the gut microbiome, this phylum of bacteria can be used in a wide variety of processes, including fermenting wine and beer, creating yogurt from milk, and bioremediation.