Faculty Advisor

Crusberg, Theodore C.


In 2001, the spore form of the Bacillus anthracis bacteria was used as a weapon of biological terrorism in the United States. During this outbreak the dried spores, which proved to be fatal when exposed to those unknowingly exposed, infected people throughout the Washington D.C. region. The vehicle of infection ended up being our very own postal system as the spores were circulated on the inside and outside of letters. This MQP tested the effect white pulsed light has on denaturing Bacillus subtilis, a surrogate of anthrax, in hopes of replacing the current use of radiation to disinfect mail used in post office nationwide. The findings of this project indicate that pulsed white light does contribute to the inactivation of the resistant spores fomed by B. subtilis.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology