Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Douglas R. Lewis, PhD.


Deinococcus radiodurans is a robust bacterium that is known for its extraordinary resistance to ionizing radiation. In general, many of the investigations of this bacterium's resistance have revolved around low linear energy transfer radiation, such as gamma and electron radiation. This study explored Deinococcus radiodurans's ability to survive high linear energy transfer radiation, specifically proton and neutron radiation. Deinococcus radiodurans was dehydrated to reduce the effects of low linear energy transfer radiation. The bacteria were exposed to both neutron and proton radiation of varying amounts and rehydrated. The resulting colonies were counted and compared to colonies of non-irradiated control samples using a two population, t-statistic test. With few, non-trend forming exceptions, the results of these comparisons showed, with 95% certainty, that there was no statistical difference between the non-irradiated controls and the irradiated samples.

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DTIC Accession Number