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Check your horoscope. Anything about kidney stones?

July 30, 2008 |  6:00 am

Newstars_2 Attention Leos, Virgos, Scorpios and other zodiac-focused readers: Still using horoscopes to predict your future? Scientists are working on other, perhaps less-open-to-interpretation, ways.

Just this month alone:

* Researchers at four cancer centers, including the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, figured out that analyzing a specific panel of genes can predict survival rates among lung cancer patients. The research, which could aid in treatment decisions, appeared in Nature Medicine.

* Scottish researchers devised a formula to predict emergency room admissions for people age 40 and older. Those more likely to be admitted were older men and those who had previous admissions and who had been prescribed a variety of drugs. The research was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

* And the good folks at UT Southwestern Medical Center and UT Dallas used studies of kidney stone rates across geographic regions, plus models of global warming, to predict an increase in the nation's kidney stones, an additional 1.6 million to 2.2 million cases to be exact. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Of course, such predictions don't have the romance of, say: "This is your year to embrace the unknown and fall in love with uncertainty" -- today's prediction for those born July 30. (Let me know, birthday boys and girls, if this does indeed prove to be the case. And whether "fresh feelings are born in your heart in September." Here's the rest of today's horoscopes.)

But if I had lung cancer, I know which predictive possibilities I'd prefer. 

-- Tami Dennis

Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times