Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Early Number Knowledge Key to Future Math Skills: Study
There appears to be a link between children's understanding of
numbers in the first grade and their ability to do everyday
calculations when they're older, a new study finds.
Researchers tested 180 seventh-graders in the Columbia, Mo.
school system and found that those who did worse on a test of core
math skills needed to function as adults were the same children
who'd had the poorest number knowledge when they started first
"The gap they started with, they don't close it," said study leader Dr. David Geary, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Missouri. "They're not catching up" to their peers whose number skills were better in the first grade.
The differences between the students when they were in the first
grade were not explained by factors such as IQ and attention span,
The findings show that what Geary calls "number system
knowledge" is a basic skill that students continually build on and
is much more than just the ability to count. This knowledge
includes capabilities such as understanding magnitude -- that 34 is
bigger than 23 -- and that numbers represent different quantities,
that three dots is the same as the numeral "3" or the word
Geary and his colleagues will continue to track the children
into high school.
This research isn't only about trying to improve students' math
abilities, it's about ensuring they have the basic math skills
required in adulthood. For example, knowing how much change the
cashier should hand back, how to calculate a tip in a restaurant,
or how to do the fractions to double a recipe.
About 1 in 5 U.S. adults lack the math abilities expected of a
middle-school student. These adults have trouble with everyday math
tasks, which puts many types of jobs beyond their reach, according
"It's not just, can you do well in school? It's how well can you do in your life," said Dr. Kathy Mann Koepke of the National Institutes of Health. "We are in the midst of math all the time." The NIH is providing funding for the study.
Missing Vial of Virus No Threat: Officials
A vial containing a virus that can cause hemorrhagic fever
disappeared from a Texas research facility last Wednesday, but
there's no reason to believe that there's a threat to the public,
according to officials.
They suspect that the vial containing the Guanarito virus was
destroyed during the lab's cleaning process, and added that the
investigation is continuing, the
There was no breach in security at the Galveston National
Laboratory and no indication of wrongdoing, the University of Texas
Medical Branch said Saturday. The federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention was immediately notified after the vial's
absence was noticed.
The virus is native to Venezuela and is transmitted only through
contact with Venezuelan rats, according to the medical branch.
Officials don't believe the virus can survive in U.S. rodents or be
transmitted from person-to-person, the
OneTouch Verio IQ Blood Glucose Meters Recalled
All OneTouch Verio IQ blood glucose meters in the United States
are being recalled and replaced because of problems that can lead
to incorrect treatment or delay proper treatment, Lifescan, Inc.
At extremely high blood glucose levels (1,024 milligrams per
deciliter and above), the meters will not provide a warning and
will shut off, said Lifescan, a unit of Johnson & Johnson.
While the likelihood of experiencing a blood glucose level of
1,025 mg/dL or higher is remote, this level of blood glucose is a
serious and potentially fatal health risk that requires immediate
Patients with a OneTouch Verio IQ meter should contact LifeScan
customer service at 1-800-717-0276 to make arrangements to receive
a replacement meter at no charge, the company said.
As long as they are aware of this problem with the device,
patients with a OneTouch Verio IQ meter can continue to use them to
test their blood glucose levels, according to LifeScan. However, if
the meter unexpectedly turns itself off during testing, this could
be a sign of an extremely blood sugar level that requires immediate
Bodybuilder Pioneer Joe Weider Dies at 93
Bodybuilding legend Joe Weider, 93, died Saturday at
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Born in Montreal, Weider turned to body building because he was
a small teenager, 5-foot-6 and 110 pounds, who was bullied by
The New York Timesreported.
Weider moved to the United States as a young man. Among his
accomplishments, he created some of the world's most popular
bodybuilding magazines and played a key role in Arnold
Schwarzenegger's rise to fame, the
"He advised me on my training, on my business ventures, and once, bizarrely, claimed I was a German Shakespearean actor to get me my first acting role in 'Hercules in New York,' even though I barely spoke English," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "He was there for me constantly throughout my life, and I will miss him dearly."
Joe and brother Ben founded the International Federation of Body
Builders, which sponsored international competitions, including Mr.
Universe and Mr. Olympia. They promoted fitness as a lifestyle and
bodybuilding as an international sport, and presented a positive
image of bodybuilding, the
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