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College applicants are down, especially among low-income students, Common App says

The number of college applicants is down so far this year, particularly among first-generation and low-income students, according to data from Common App, in what the college application company is calling an “alarming trend.”



a person walking down a sidewalk in a city park: Students walking to class on the California State University, Northridge campus in Los Angeles.


© STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
Students walking to class on the California State University, Northridge campus in Los Angeles.

The organization, whose college admission application is used by over 900 colleges and universities, analyzed application data from its returning members submitted through Nov. 16 — the early decision and early action deadline for many institutions this year.

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The Common App found that when compared to the same period last year, the number of unique applicants decreased 4% this year (659,993 applicants, down from 686,866 in 2019). This decline was greater among first-generation and fee waiver-eligible applicants, which each saw about a 10% decline in applicant volume, it said. It was even greater than the decline

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Sun-Powered Chemistry Can Turn Carbon Dioxide into Common Materials

The manufacture of many chemicals important to human health and comfort consumes fossil fuels, thereby contributing to extractive processes, carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. A new approach employs sunlight to convert waste carbon dioxide into these needed chemicals, potentially reducing emissions in two ways: by using the unwanted gas as a raw material and sunlight, not fossil fuels, as the source of energy needed for production.

This process is becoming increasingly feasible thanks to advances in sunlight-activated catalysts, or photocatalysts. In recent years investigators have developed photocatalysts that break the resistant double bond between carbon and oxygen in carbon dioxide. This is a critical first step in creating “solar” refineries that produce useful compounds from the waste gas—including “platform” molecules that can serve as raw materials for the synthesis of such varied products as medicines, detergents, fertilizers and textiles.

Photocatalysts are typically semiconductors, which require high-energy ultraviolet light to

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This could lead to the next big breakthrough in common sense AI

AI models that can parse both language and visual input also have very practical uses. If we want to build robotic assistants, for example, they need computer vision to navigate the world and language to communicate about it to humans.

But combining both types of AI is easier said than done. It isn’t as simple as stapling together an existing language model with an existing object recognition system. It requires training a new model from scratch with a data set that includes text and images, otherwise known as a visual-language data set.

The most common approach for curating such a data set is to compile a collection of images with descriptive captions. A picture like the one below, for example, would be captioned “An orange cat sits in the suitcase ready to be packed.” This differs from typical image data sets, which would label the same picture with only one

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Common liverwort study has implications for crop manipulation

Common liverwort study has implications for crop manipulation
Credit: Manfred Morgner , CC BY-SA 3.0

A new study on genetic pathways in the common liverwort could have future implications for crop manipulation.


The findings of the US-led study, co-authored by genetic biologist Professor John Bowman from the Monash University School of Biological Sciences, are published today in Nature Plants.

Earlier this year researchers confirmed a new role for the well-known plant molecule known as 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), providing the first clear example of it acting on its own as a likely plant hormone.

ACC is the precursor of the plant hormone ethylene which has many roles in growth and development.

“Ethylene was the first gaseous hormone identified over 100 years ago in flowering plants,” explains Professor Bowman.

“It is the ‘ripening hormone’, that is, the one bad apple spoils the lot,” he said.

“The ethylene signalling pathway has been characterised in flowering plants, and its disruption results in

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Researchers suggest AI can learn common sense from animals

AI researchers developing reinforcement learning agents could learn a lot from animals. That’s according to recent analysis by Google’s DeepMind, Imperial College London, and University of Cambridge researchers assessing AI and non-human animals.

In a decades-long venture to advance machine intelligence, the AI research community has often looked to neuroscience and behavioral science for inspiration and to better understand how intelligence is formed. But this effort has focused primarily on human intelligence, specifically that of babies and children.

“This is especially true in a reinforcement learning context, where, thanks to progress in deep learning, it is now possible to bring the methods of comparative cognition directly to bear,” the researchers’ paper reads. “Animal cognition supplies a compendium of well-understood, nonlinguistic, intelligent behavior; it suggests experimental methods for evaluation and benchmarking; and it can guide environment and task design.”

DeepMind introduced some of the first forms of AI that combine deep

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Scientists Find New Way To Break Down the Most Common Plastic

This could all be turned into useful chemicals.

This could all be turned into useful chemicals.
Photo: Prakash Singh (Getty Images)

The petrochemical industry produces more than 88 million tons of polyethylene, making it the most common plastic in the world. Scientists have found a new way to upcycle it, according to a study published in Science on Thursday. It could help deal with the growing plastic pollution crisis.

Polyethylene comes in several different forms and is used in everything from plastic bags and food packaging to electrical insulation and industrial piping. Since it’s so common and our recycling system is so broken, we end up throwing away a shitload of the stuff. It can end up in landfills or the ocean where it breaks down veeeery slowly, or get burned up in waste incinerators that emit toxic chemicals.

But in the new study, the authors found a way to speed up the process

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Team of International Scientists Identify Common Vulnerabilities Across SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and MERS Coronaviruses

Structure Pic

Structure of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b in complex with human Tom70. Teal: surface model of human Tom70; orange: ribbon model of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. Structure was determined by the QBI Coronavirus Research Group Structural Biology Consortium (QCRG SBC).
Structure of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b in complex with human Tom70. Teal: surface model of human Tom70; orange: ribbon model of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. Structure was determined by the QBI Coronavirus Research Group Structural Biology Consortium (QCRG SBC).
Structure of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b in complex with human Tom70. Teal: surface model of human Tom70; orange: ribbon model of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. Structure was determined by the QBI Coronavirus Research Group Structural Biology Consortium (QCRG SBC).

Structure Pic 2

Structure of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b in complex with human Tom70. Grey: Electron microscopy density of the Orf9b-Tom70 complex. Teal: surface model of human Tom70; orange: ribbon model of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. Structure was determined by the QBI Coronavirus Research Group Structural Biology Consortium (QCRG SBC).
Structure of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b in complex with human Tom70. Grey: Electron microscopy density of the Orf9b-Tom70 complex. Teal: surface model of human Tom70; orange: ribbon model of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. Structure was determined by the QBI Coronavirus Research Group Structural Biology Consortium (QCRG SBC).
Structure of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b in complex with human Tom70. Grey: Electron microscopy density of the Orf9b-Tom70 complex. Teal: surface model of human Tom70; orange: ribbon model of SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b. Structure was determined
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Are Pubic Lice Common At College?

When most students register for college classes for the first time, they can not wait to delve into the particulars of their chosen major. With 50,000 students (greater than every other faculty in the country), UT boasts a number of the nation’s best enterprise, regulation and engineering colleges. Should you really feel that you have learned all you possibly can in high school, in the event you assume that there’s nothing else that you’ll want to take in, then don’t go to college.

Whereas you will need to show potential students that the college is ready to accommodate their interests, it is also necessary for students to see what else is on the market to them exterior of the campus. Attending a neighborhood college will even assist offset the costs if a student decides to continue his or her schooling toward a bachelor’s diploma.

So start applying for colleges early. … Read More