This Week In Chemistry

This Week in Chemistry – Lightning-triggered photonuclear reactions, and a Chernobyl mystery solved

17-11-26 This Week in Chemistry

Here’s the weekly summary of both new chemistry research and studies that have been in the news. This week features news on the confirmation that lightning can trigger photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere, what caused the first explosion at Chernobyl, and more. As always links to further articles and original research papers are provided below.

Note: links to studies behind a journal paywall are indicated with (£). Studies without this symbol are open access and can be accessed and read for free. Asterisked studies are free but require logging in to read. 


Featured Stories

Lightning triggers atmospheric photonuclear reactions: [Article] [Study (£)]

Cause of initial Chernobyl explosion determined: [Article] [Study (£)]

Phthalate exposure concerns for perfume sales staff: [Article] [Study (£)]

Possible new target for fast-acting anti-depressants: [Article] [Study (£)]

Plans to eliminate EPA chemical risk assessment programme: [Article]


This Week in Chemistry has been a running feature on the site since 2014, and this is the 160th edition (assuming my file numbering system is correct). Unfortunately, with my current commitments, both for my actual job and the website, it’s become increasingly difficult to find time for making new graphics. Consequently, I’ve decided to make a change to the ‘This Week in Chemistry’ posts. 

From next month, rather than a weekly post, I’ll be putting together news summary posts on a monthly basis. These will contain a few more stories than the current weekly posts. I’ll also be tweeting news stories as they come up from the Chemunicate twitter account as I have been previously. 

If you’ve any thoughts or suggestions on these changes, please do add them in the comments below. I hope that my proposed changes mean that you’ll still be able to get to news updates through the site, while also giving me more time to produce more graphics on other topics.


Keep track of older ‘This Week in Chemistry’ posts on the category page, or via the #TWIChem hashtag on Twitter.

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The graphic in this article is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. See the site’s content usage guidelines.

2 replies on “This Week in Chemistry – Lightning-triggered photonuclear reactions, and a Chernobyl mystery solved”

I understand backing off from this commitment. It seems like a lot of work! I appreciate it, though since I only actually decide to read in detail about a single topic or two each week, if you do this monthly I think I’ll remain equally satisfied.

Thanks again for curating the chemistry news for us. 🙂

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