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Ci Newsletter #10: 2021's chemistry news summarised and hangover chemistry

Andy @ Compound Interest
Andy @ Compound Interest
Welcome to the first Compound Interest newsletter of 2022! We kick off with a look back at the biggest chemistry news stories of 2021, and a glance at the potential chemical reasons behind a hangover. Then there’s also periodic table data visualisation using cross stitch and the usual selection of chemistry news stories.

Biggest chemistry stories of 2021
Click to view the graphic on the Ci site
Click to view the graphic on the Ci site
Last year, I didn’t make one of these summaries as COVID-related news seemed to eclipse all other chemistry-related news in importance. This year, though COVID has again taken top billing, there have been plenty of other interesting stories in the chemistry world. From the phase-out of leaded fuel to the controversies of a new catalysis claim and newly approved Alzheimer’s drug, this graphic looks at some of the highlights.
Hangover cures
Click to view the graphic on the Ci site
Click to view the graphic on the Ci site
This article about a new systematic review of traditional hangover cures (fittingly published just in time for New Year’s Day) reminded me of my own graphic on the topic of hangovers. More precisely, it looks at the competing chemical theories for the cause of a hangover, as no one cause has been absolutely established. Spoilers for if you don’t have time to look at the study: none of the hangover cures it examined were found to have good quality evidence for effectiveness.
Blood donor month
Click to view the graphic on the Ci site
Click to view the graphic on the Ci site
January is Blood Donor Month, which is a good opportunity to flag up this graphic on the compatibilities of different blood types. For more blood-related chemistry, there’s also this graphic on what causes the colour and smell of blood.
Visualising the periodic table with cross-stitch
Periodic table cross stitch visualisation by Danièle Gibney
Periodic table cross stitch visualisation by Danièle Gibney
The periodic table is chemistry’s most reimagined symbol (I’ve produced a fair few versions myself), but this is the first time I can recall seeing a cross stitched visualisation of element-related data. It’s made by Danièle Gibney, and the various columns for each element highlight properties including melting point, discovery date, and electronegativity. It’s one of several cross stitched science visualisations she details in her blog here.
Chemistry news & features
Is 'chemist' losing its dual meaning?
How elements are made beyond the stars
As always, if you’re finding this newsletter interesting please forward it to a friend or share on social media. Next fortnight we’ll be back to the usual publication day of Tuesday.
Thanks for reading,
Andy
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Andy @ Compound Interest
Andy @ Compound Interest @compoundchem

Topical chemistry graphics and other interesting chemistry-related nuggets from across the web. Sent fortnightly.

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