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All the ways Trump's budget screws over climate research
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Shots fired.  President Donald Trump may be 6,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, but that didn't stop him from launching an all-out assault on climate science and related energy research. The weapon of choice? His fiscal year 2018 budget proposal. The cuts are staggering in scope, and the consequences are already starting as federal employees and contractors — spooked by the figures out this week — begin job searching in earnest.  SEE ALSO: Trump might pick a non-scientist to be USDA's 'chief scientist' Every single agency that touches climate change research, from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the Department of Energy, NASA, and especially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would see sharp reductions and eliminations of climate research programs. NASA project scientist Nathan Kurtz surveys an iceberg locked in sea ice in Greenland.Image: Mario Tama/Getty ImagesWhile the proposal is just the start of negotiations with Congress over a final, enacted budget, it represents the clearest statement yet of Trump's priorities for governing the country.  And those priorities do not put climate change — ranked by other major industrialized and developing countries as one of the top threats facing the world today — high on the list.  According to Mick Mulvaney, the head of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the administration targeted climate funding for sharp reductions, but he rejected the charge that it's anti-science. “I think the National Science Foundation last year used your taxpayer money to fund a climate change musical. Do you think that’s a waste of your money?” he said, citing a well-worn example from 2014 of wasteful research spending often pointed to by Republican lawmakers who deny the link between human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.  “What I think you saw happen during the previous administration is the pendulum went too far to one side, where we were spending too much of your money on climate change, and not very efficiently,” Mulvaney said at a budget briefing on Tuesday morning.   “We don’t get rid of it here. Do we target it? Sure," he said. "Do a lot of the EPA reductions aimed at reducing the focus on climate science? Yes." "Does it meant that we are anti-science? Absolutely not." Losing our eyes and ears The budget cuts Trump is proposing would leave climate scientists without critical data and would shrivel up the job market for researchers at a time when climate change expertise is more needed than ever.  One budget cut at NASA would hit an instrument meant to improve scientists' ability to monitor the amount of solar radiation entering and exiting the atmosphere, which is a foundational measurement needed for keeping tabs on and projecting climate change.  Tens of thousands of protestors gathered on April 22, 2017  to protest the Trump administration's anti-science moves.Image: LO SCALZO/EPA/REX/ShutterstockAnother would eliminate a mission known as CALIPSO, which is a satellite instrument aimed at increasing our understanding of how clouds and particles known as aerosols affect the climate.  This would address one of the biggest uncertainties in climate science, but hey, Trump and his cabinet members do like citing uncertainty as a reason not to act on global warming, so...  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ NASA's overall Earth Science Mission, which helps provide research and observations of our planet, would be cut by nearly 9 percent, including the elimination of five Earth observation missions and an education program aimed at supporting the next generation of space science researchers. At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the office responsible for helping restore and protect our coasts in a time of sea level rise would be completely eliminated. The agency's climate research programs, considered to be among the best in the world, would also take a funding cut on the order of 30 percent. The NOAA budget also contains some bizarre cuts that the meteorology community will likely strongly object to, including getting rid of the array of Pacific Ocean buoys that enable forecasters to detect El Niño events, as well as a network of specially-designed ocean instruments to detect destructive tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean before they hit land.  In addition, the NOAA budget would slow the National Weather Service's implementation of more accurate computer models, increasing the gap between U.S. capabilities and those in Europe and elsewhere, which have surpassed this country. In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey, would be cut by more than 10 percent. Even before these cuts, the agency has been having trouble maintaining its network of river gauges that the National Weather Service relies on for triggering flood warnings. So just as heavy rains are becoming more common in a warming climate, the number of functioning gauges is declining.  The Energy Department's Office of Science, which funds research in physical sciences and cutting edge computer modeling, would also see a funding decrease of 17 percent.  None of these decreases are small, and all would reverberate across labs scattered across the country and throughout universities that depend on government grants for research funding. Picking the losers as winners The cuts could also fundamentally change the energy landscape, eliminating the government program that helped launch innovative renewable energy companies such as Tesla.   Under former president Barack Obama, the Energy Department turned into a massive venture capital firm dedicated to funding potentially transformational energy technologies. Now Trump is proposing to eliminate that program, known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency: Energy, or ARPA-E. If the current administration has its way, the office would see its budget plunge from $290 million in Fiscal Year 2017 to just $20 million as it is put to rest completely, along with hopes that the next Tesla will crop up in the U.S., and not, say, in China or another economic competitor. But the shift in priorities doesn't end there.  The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would be cut by 70 percent compared to Fiscal Year 2017 levels, a staggering decrease that sets the government up against market trends as solar, wind and battery technologies comprise more and more newly-built electric facilities.  Last one: select S&T agencies and programs, requested changes from omnibus levels. #sciencebudget pic.twitter.com/6HoswXd42R — Matt Hourihan (@MattHourihan) May 23, 2017 Don't worry though, fossil fuels like coal and oil would fare just fine under the budget request. And nuclear power, which has stagnated due to regulatory hurdles and lower natural gas, wind, and solar prices, would get a boost in funds. Here comes the brain drain Major science groups that are normally inclined to avoid partisan combat have already come out and slammed the budget as misguided at best.  Rush Holt, a physicist and former congressman who is the director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), said the budget would have a near-term impact on public health and overall science and technology capabilities in America.  "What we see is not just a reduction in government programs, what we see is a failure to invest in America," Holt said on a conference call with reporters. "We’re not just talking about the long-term future either. The harm to public health and to other areas would start to be felt really very soon." @AAAS_GR R&D by character, as a share of GDP. Research funding would hit a 40-year low in 2018. #Science @AAAS_GR pic.twitter.com/btVEj3RxMQ — Matt Hourihan (@MattHourihan) May 23, 2017 According to one AAAS analyst, the only science and technology-related government agency to see a funding increase under Trump's budget is the secretive Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, better known as DARPA.  The funding cuts, if they get through Congress as proposed, which is doubtful, would also discourage those seeking to go into science and engineering careers from doing so, as it would eliminate thousands of post-doctoral and career positions.  One contractor who works with the federal government on environmental issues, but asked not to be identified since he is not authorized to speak to the press, told Mashable that he and "many others" he knows have already begun "changing their career plans" as they brace for job cuts. "The ramifications of these cuts – which are below the FY17 omnibus levels – will have significant impacts on the health and welfare of the nation," Chris McEntee, the executive director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union, which is the world's largest organization of Earth scientists, said in a statement. Joanne Carney, director of government relations at AAAS, said the budget cuts will hurt the U.S. by impeding our ability to anticipate the ramifications of climate change.  "...This is about dealing with reality at all levels of government," she said.  "So defunding the very programs that seek to allow us to better understand the Earth and our changing environment isn’t helping the U.S. to address climate-related changes. It’s not allowing us to make informed decisions on how to adapt or to mitigate, and it has long-term consequences." Maria Gallucci contributed reporting for this story. WATCH: It's official, 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record
Seth Rich’s parents speak out against ‘unspeakably cruel’ conspiracy theories
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The parents of a murdered Democratic National Committee staffer wrote an op-ed condemning right-wing media commentators and outlets that have advanced conspiracy theories about their son.
Quiz: How Much Do You Really Know About a Healthy Pregnancy?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. Every year, almost 4 million babies are born in the U.S. That means millions of new—or soon-to-be—parents want to know w...
Four climbers found dead on Everest
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Rescuers found the bodies of four climbers on Mount Everest, an expedition organiser said Wednesday, taking the season's death toll to 10 as experts warn cut-price mountaineering outfits are putting clients at risk.
Apollo 11 moon dust bag used for first lunar sample to be auctioned for up to $4m
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Apollo 11 moon rock bag that was recently at the centre of a legal dispute is now set to go under the hammer in what could be a record-setting auction. Sotheby's, the renowned brokers for collectables and art, will be offering the moon-dust stained, lunar sample pouch as part of its space history-themed sale. The auction is slated to take place on 20 July, the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission's historic first moon landing, in New York where the pouch is expected to fetch anything between $2m (£1.54m) and $4m — an amount no space exploration artefact has ever commanded at an auction.
Our brains predict events in fast
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, Ekman and other scientists focused instead on how the brain predicts motion. The volunteers watched the dot for about five minutes while scientists scanned their brains with ultra-fast fMRI. This way, the researchers know what pattern of brain activity was activated in the visual cortex while they watched the dot.
Horned Dinosaurs Roamed Eastern North America
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The chance discovery of a rare tooth from Mississippi is the first evidence that horned dinosaurs roamed the entire continent.
Half of World's Languages Could Be Extinct by 2100
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The Irish language, Gaelic, is one of more than 40 percent of the world's 6,000 spoken languages that are endangered, according to UNESCO. Most of the endangered languages have less than 10,000 speakers remaining. "With every language that dies we lose an enormous cultural heritage," write the founders of the Endangered Languages Project, a global collaboration of the linguistic community aimed at strengthening endangered languages.
Be a Careful Consumer at the Pharmacy!
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork looks at seemingly random labeling and pricing of over-the-counter drugs – including examples where the same drug, marketed for two different conditions, has entirely different pricing. Dr. Stork found two boxes of pills in a local drugstore. One in a blue box is marketed as a night-time sleep aid.
His
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
The following material contains graphic images that may be disturbing. Parents are advised that these images may not be suitable for young children.
Loneliness Hurts – But Can It Kill?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Forty to 45 percent of adults 65 and older say they regularly or frequently feel lonely – and that could be a deadly. A new UCLA study indicates that being lonely causes the same mortality rate as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. “It’s a crazy statistic,” says ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork.
Student Saves a Life with Heimlich Maneuver?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
One high-school student may have saved his classmate’s life because he’d just been instructed in the Heimlich maneuver. Would you be able to help a choking victim? “The thing you have to understand is that if you have an object blocking your airway, you can’t talk,” explains ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork.
Man Falls 1,500 Feet in Freezing Cold – and Lives!
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Ryan’s extraordinary story of endurance and survival began with a weekend climbing trip, and ended in a fight against death. Ryan texted Dave, his dad, to tell him he was going on a two-day climb of Pyramid Peak in the Elks Range near Aspen, Colorado. The next day, search and rescue teams went out, “But they couldn’t send out a full-fledged team because this blizzard had come in.” LaShawn and Dave immediately headed to Aspen to be on hand when Ryan was found.
What Trump's Proposed Medicaid Cuts Could Mean For You
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget blueprint calls for huge reductions to social safety net programs. In particular, i...
​History rewritten, with Europe the birthplace of mankind
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It looks like we humans may have evolved from an ape-like creature found in Bulgaria and Greece, not Africa.
President Trump’s budget plan gets a bad review from the science community
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump sent his budget request for the next fiscal year to Congress today, giving the science community a glimpse of what may be to come – and many don’t like what they see. The budget proposal cuts funding for most research and development programs in favor of defense and homeland security spending. The National Institute of Health’s budget would be reduced 22 percent, from $34.6 billion to $25.9 billion. The budget for the Environmental Protection Agency would drop 31 percent, from $8.2 billion to $5.7 billion, and reduce the agency’s employee count by 3,200. The American Association for the Advancement of Science… Read More
Uber inadvertently underpaid New York City drivers for over two years
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Uber generally takes a commission from its drivers after deducting taxes and some fees, but it instead took a higher percentage from its New York City drivers using the full fare before accounting for sales taxes and fees, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news. "We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed - plus interest - as quickly as possible," Rachel Holt, Uber's regional general manager for U.S. and Canada, said via email. All New York City drivers under the 2014 agreement would be eligible for a refund, regardless of whether they are still active or not, as long as they completed an Uber ride, the Journal report said.
This RoboCop car comes with an intruder
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Meet O-R3. It’s the world’s first robotic security car.
A widely praised Supreme Court decision still doesn't fix the broken patent system
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
A small town in East Texas should see a lot fewer visitors in suits and ties, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling that you can’t file a patent lawsuit anywhere you please in America.
The most important announcements from Google's big developers' conference
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
The opening keynote of Google's big developers' conference unveiled lots of developments that even non-nerds can understand: new features coming soon to Google products.
NASA plans emergency spacewalk on International Space Station
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A pair of astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Tuesday for an emergency spacewalk to replace a failed computer, one of two that control major U.S. systems aboard the orbiting outpost, NASA said on Sunday. The primary device failed on Saturday, leaving the $100 billion orbiting laboratory to depend on a backup system to route commands to its solar power system, radiators, cooling loops and other equipment. The station's current five-member crew from the United States, Russia and France were never in any danger, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said in a statement.
In Science, Good Looks Don't Pay, Study Finds
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Results showed that the scientists rated as competent and moral, but also judged to be relatively unattractive and unsociable gave stronger impressions as people who did quality research. "People can form an impression of a person's personality or character or even ability from a few milliseconds of just viewing their face," said Ana Gheorghiu, a Ph.D. student in psychology at the University of Essex in England and lead author of the new research, which was published today (May 22) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists. "I was very surprised that attractiveness could be a negative quality," she said.
A solar eclipse will be visible across the entire US for the first time in 99 years, here's how to make the most of it
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A rare solar eclipse is happening across the US on August 21. It will be the first time since...
China gasps at airy speech by grad student in US
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A young Chinese woman has drawn criticism on social media after unfavourably comparing her homeland's air and politics to those in the US during her graduation speech at an American university. Speaking at the University of Maryland, Yang Shuping said that coming to the United States had been a breath of "fresh air" after growing up in China. "The moment I inhaled and exhaled outside the airport, I felt free," she continued, drawing a parallel between China's notorious air pollution and its similarly choking restrictions on political speech.
Ask E. Jean: Is the Universe Telling Me Not to Get Over Him?
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
He's in love with another woman, but everywhere I go, I keep seeing signs we're meant to be.
Fox News retracts Seth Rich conspiracy story as Hannity vows to press on
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
A controversial Fox News report about the death of a Democratic National Committee employee last summer — a story that had fueled a conspiracy theory that rocketed across right-wing media, but reportedly embarrassed some of the network’s staffers — was retracted by the network Tuesday afternoon. The report attempted to tie the death of data analyst Seth Rich — who was shot in what Washington police believe was a botched robbery attempt — to the leak of DNC emails to WikiLeaks, which began publishing them two weeks later. The implication, spelled out most directly by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, was that Rich had provided the emails and was assassinated in retaliation or as part of a coverup.
CBO score could roil Senate health care negotiations
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The Congressional Budget Office will release its prediction of the effects of the House-passed health care overhaul Wednesday afternoon, potentially stirring up more dissent among Senate Republicans who have spent much of this month attempting to hash out their own health care deal. The CBO will likely deliver a similar verdict for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as it did for an earlier version of the House bill, which the office said would result in 24 million fewer Americans having health care coverage and $150 billion in deficit reduction over 10 years compared with Obamacare.
When the young are targeted, explaining terrorism to children
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
“It is going to bring reality to them,” says Ms. Hall-Newman, in a telephone interview from Manchester where she happens to be at a conference – and where she spent the weekend with her daughter. The suicide bomber is reported to be 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was born in Manchester to parents who fled Libya's Qaddafi regime.
With big spending cuts, Trump’s budget highlights clash of values
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
To the Trump team, the president’s budget proposal is rooted in unassailable values: respect for the people “who are actually paying the taxes,” as White House budget director Mick Mulvaney puts it. In President Trump’s $4.1 trillion fiscal 2018 budget plan, released Tuesday, that approach translates into deep cuts in social safety-net programs that Mr. Mulvaney suggests discourage work and hinder economic growth. To others, the values reflected in the Trump budget are no less than “Robin Hood in reverse” – take from the poor to give to the rich, in the form of tax cuts.
The Best Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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10 Books to Pack for Your Memorial Day Vacation
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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14 Dads Reveal the Most Unexpected Things They Experienced During Their Wife's Pregnancy
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
"I think it's true what they say, that the pregnancy can even affect the husband's hormones."
What It's Like to Travel Through 4 Countries In 3 Months With 2 Kids
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Our maddening, euphoric, amazing family journey in the first issue of the Airbnb magazine.
20 Gross Things Every Pregnant Woman Secretly Does
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Come on, admit it.
How to Look Like You Actually Slept a Full 8 Hours
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
No one needs to know about your snooze button addiction.
Christina El Moussa Got the Sweetest Tattoo Honoring Her Kids
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Check out her new ink.
How One Mother Discovered the App That Changed Her Disabled Daughter's Life
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
"I've realized that spreading the word about this technology is my mission."
The Most Common UTI Symptoms in Women
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Urinary tract infections can become life-threatening if left untreated.
7 Ways to Lose Weight in Your Face
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Don't even think about going under the knife until you've read this.
Women Experiencing These Symptoms May Be Suffering from Gonorrhea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
If left untreated, it can cause long-term abdominal pain and infertility.
Alan Thicke's Widow Says His Sons Are 'Bullying' Her with Lawsuit
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
Tanya Callau claims her 2005 prenup with Thicke is no longer valid.
U.S. top court tightens patent suit rules in blow to 'patent trolls'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tightened rules for where patent lawsuits can be filed in a decision that may make it harder for so-called patent "trolls" to launch sometimes dodgy patent cases in friendly courts, a major irritant for high-tech giants like Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google. The justices sided 8-0 with beverage flavoring company TC Heartland LLC in its legal battle with food and beverage company Kraft Heinz Co, ruling that patent infringement suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated. Justice Neil Gorsuch did not participate in the decision.
'Prey' review: You'll never be more afraid of a coffee cup
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
‘Prey’ will have you terrified of everything you see. During my first two hours of playing the video game “Prey,” I spent more time shooting at coffee cups and trash cans than I did the malevolent aliens that attacked the space station I was sneaking around.
Now I get it: Ransomware
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
On May 12, a computer worm called WannaCry began infecting over 300,000 Windows computers in 150 countries—and made headlines around the world. Here's what you need to know.
Pinterest now uses AI to figure out what you're eating in photos
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, technology
Pinterest rolled out an update that enables its AI-powered feature, Pinterest Lens, to detect and analyze what you're eating in any given photo. Lens then suggests a recipe "inspired" by the food, meal or dish.
Get your own bag of (real) moon dust for just $4 million
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
On the outside, the plain white bag seems unremarkable. But inside, it's laced with an exquisite and extremely valuable material: moon dust.  Neil Armstrong stuffed this sack with the world's first samples of lunar rocks during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. Traces of dust still remain in the outer decontamination bag, which includes a label reading "LUNAR SAMPLE RETURN." Sotheby's New York said the dinner plate-sized bag could fetch up to $4 million when it goes on the auction block on July 20 — the 48th anniversary of the Apollo 11's historic first moon landing. SEE ALSO: The Best Moons in the Solar System "The only such relic available for private ownership, it is exceptionally rare," Sotheby's said on its website. The lunar sample return bag used by Neil Armstrong on Apollo 11.Image: sotheby's NASA won't be reaping the benefits, however. In a space-themed comedy of errors, Armstrong initially turned the zippered bag over to scientists at a Houston lab, but the U.S. space agency forgot about it over time. Decades later, the government mistakenly auctioned off the bag along with other space exploration memorabilia.  Nancy Lee Carlson, a Chicago-area attorney and self-proclaimed space nerd, bought the pouch and other items for just $995. Suspecting it contained more than fibers and zippers, she sent her bag to NASA for testing. That's when NASA scientists realized they'd lost the world's original bag of moon dust, and they refused to forfeit it a second time. Carlson fought back and, after a protracted legal battle, a U.S. District Court ordered NASA to return the bag in February. NASA said it won't appeal the ruling, but the agency is still salty about the outcome. The moon's Crater 308, viewed from orbit during the Apollo 11 mission.Image: nasaWilliam Jeffs, a NASA spokesman, said NASA thinks the bag should be on public display because it "represents the culmination of a massive national effort involving a generation of Americans, including the astronauts who risked their lives in an effort to accomplish the most significant act humankind has ever achieved," he told the Wall Street Journal.  But Carlson isn't exactly a moon-digger. The attorney plans to donate a portion of the sale proceeds to charity, and to establish a scholarship at her alma mater, Northern Michigan University, Reuters reported. Sotheby's, meanwhile, is downright giddy. Apart from this court-ordered exception, NASA doesn't allow individuals to own any bits of the moon, which is why this bag is likely to fetch millions, said Cassandra Hatton, a senior specialist at the auction house. "This is my Mona Lisa moment," she told the Journal.  The moon dust bag will be the shining star of Sotheby's first space exploration-themed sale, which will also include items from the personal collections of astronauts; signed photographs, maps, and charts; as well as engineering models and 3-D objects. WATCH: NASA designed grippers that can lift celestial rocks in microgravity
Dinosaurs: 66 million years ago triceratops roamed in Mississippi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A fossil tooth of the triceratops or a very close relative has been discovered in the eastern US about 66 to 68 million years ago. Horned ceratopsid dinosaurs, which include triceratops, were only thought to have lived in the west of the US. The tooth, from the lower jaw of the dinosaur, was discovered in the Owl Creek Formation in northern Mississippi.
Just one glass of wine per day can raise your breast cancer risk
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Cancer experts say they're increasingly confident that at least two lifestyle choices can affect a woman's risk of getting breast cancer: drinking alcohol and exercising.  Just one alcoholic drink each day is enough to boost breast cancer risk, according to a comprehensive new report published Tuesday. Vigorous exercise, by contrast, can decrease the risk in both pre- and postmenopausal women. SEE ALSO: Alcohol's cancer risks outweigh any health benefits, study shows The American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund published their joint report, which includes data on 12 million women and 260,000 cases of breast cancer gathered in nearly 120 studies. Image: American Institute for Cancer Research"The evidence is clear: Having a physically active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight throughout life, and limiting alcohol — these are all steps women can take to lower their risk," said Anne McTiernan, a lead author of the report and a cancer prevention expert at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The study gives researchers "even greater confidence in the results," McTiernan said in an email. Alcohol increases risks Tuesday's report upholds earlier findings about the links between alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. Yet McTiernan said she was surprised to find that just one drink a day on average was enough to raise a woman's risk. In the U.S., a standard drink contains about 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is found in 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits, or 12 ounces of a 5-percent alcohol beer. The analysis of premenopausal women included 10 large cohort studies, in which more than 4,000 women developed breast cancer. While the increase in risk for drinking an average of 10 grams of alcohol per day was relatively small — about 5 percent — it is still statistically significant. Image: rob carr/Getty ImagesThe postmenopausal analysis included 22 large cohort studies, in which more than 35,000 women developed breast cancer. Researchers found a 9 percent increase in risk for drinking an average of 10 grams of alcohol per day, which is also statistically significant.  There are still many unknowns about how and why alcohol consumption affects breast cancer risk, Melissa Pilewskie, a surgical breast oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said in an interview.  Pilewskie was not involved in Tuesday's report but said its findings were consistent with a number of other studies. She said it's unclear whether one drink per day is the same as having a few drinks here and there throughout the week. Alcohol consumption may also be a "surrogate" for other lifestyle factors that are the real risk culprits. Image: American institute for cancer researchWhatever the case, our drinking habits are one of the few areas of cancer risk that we can actually control, she said. Genetics, family history, age, breast density — these are much greater risk factors for breast cancer, but we can't change them. "For women who are at increased risk [of breast cancer], this is something we think likely could make a difference, even though it may be only a moderate difference," Pilewskie said. Exercise decreases risks The new report provided stronger evidence that moderate exercise can decrease the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer — the most common type of breast cancer. It also revealed, for the first time, that vigorous physical exercise can decrease the risk in premenopausal women as well.  Premenopausal women who were the most active had a 17 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer, compared to those who were the least active, the report found. Postmenopausal women had a 10 percent reduction in risk. Alice Bender, a nutritionist at the American Institute for Cancer Research, said "vigorous" activity should be sufficiently intense that it's hard to carry on a sustained conversation. That could mean power walking, jogging, or cycling, depending on the person's fitness level. Bender acknowledged that exercising more and drinking less are not surefire ways to prevent cancer, just like exercising less and drinking more won't condemn you to a diagnosis. "There are no guarantees when it comes to cancer. We know a lot of things are out of our control," she said. But evidence increasingly suggests that healthier lifestyle choices can "move the needle" toward cancer prevention. Findings from Tuesday's breast cancer report will included in the cancer institutes' forthcoming 2017 report on diet, weight, physical activity and cancer prevention. A global panel of experts will also use the research to update the World Cancer Research Fund's Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. WATCH: Gamer with cancer gets touching gift from his best friends
Climate Change Is Melting the Arctic Ice Out from Under Our Buildings
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Researchers don't think a frozen arctic will always be as stable or as safe as we thought it would be.