'Little Lucy' Found in Africa

"LITTLE LUCY" FOUND IN ETHIOPIA Ethiopian paleontologists have found another clue about the evolution of the human species. They have uncovered the skeleton of a primitive human child in Dikaka, Ethiopia. The skeleton is believed to belong to the same evolutionary group as the iconic fossil "Lucy" discovered in 1974. This new discovery is a juvenile member of the species, making it evolutionarily the oldest child ever discovered -- 3.3 million years old. The child, a female, was probably no more than 3 years old when she died, and she supports the theory that these primitive humans walked upright. But the "gorilla-like" arms suggest these humans may also have been good at swinging through trees. These findings were published this week in the journal Nature.

EGG ON THE FACE NOT A JOKING MATTER As Halloween approaches, doctors in the United Kingdom are warning that throwing eggs at people's faces can result in real harm. Writing in the Emergency Medicine Journal, they discuss 13 cases of egg-on-the-face injuries that occurred over a yearlong period. In only one case in which a person was hit by eggs was the victim's eyesight not affected. Minor injuries included bruising and bloodshot eyes, but some people sustained more serious damage, such as tears in the retina and changes in internal eye pressure.

U.S. HEALTH CARE SCORES A "D" The Commonwealth Fund Commission is issuing its first-ever scorecard that evaluates the U.S. health-care system on 37 key measures of performance, including markers of quality, access, efficiency and equity. The commission assigned scores on a scale of one to 100, comparing how the United States matched up with other countries in terms of things like preventable deaths and use of health information technology. The commission gave the United States a composite score of 66 and said that improved performance could save more than 100,000 lives and as much as $100 billion annually.

STAT is a brief look at the latest medical research and is compiled by Joanna Schaffhausen, who holds a doctorate in behavioral neuroscience. She works in the ABC News Medical Unit, evaluating medical studies, abstracts and news releases.

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