ASCs are just as pluripotent as embryonic stem cells Stefanie Miller wrote about stem cells in the Oct 27 issue (First Person, “Pluripotentiality.”)

There is so much discussion about embryonic stem cells, but I am at a loss to why there is no good press regarding the usefulness of adult stem cells.

No fetus need die to use stem cells. Adult stem cells (ASCs) are ethically and easily obtained from the patient, and thus do not raise dangerous problems such as the patient rejecting the treatment, or the treatment rejecting the patient. I’ve never heard this mentioned in the media, but embryonic cells would require the patient to undergo a lifetime of immune-suppression drugs.

It’s probable that almost every organ (including skin and fat) in the body has a stem cell population within it, but they are exceptionally rare. The greatest concentration of ASCs is in bone marrow.

Mesenchymal stem cells or human bone marrow stromal stem cells have the ability to generate cartilage, bone, muscle, tendon, ligament and fat. Hematopoetic stem cells give rise to the immune system, liver (probably) and other tissues. It appears that for any type of human tissue, there is an obtainable adult stem cell that can differentiate into it. There is so much knowledge about ASCs that is new, and similarly so much more will be known in a few more years. Collectively, ASCs are just as pluripotent as embryonic stem cells. The only problem is allowing ASCs to grow in enough numbers to be effective treatment.

Using embryonic stem cells is a Frankensteinian cut-and-paste. Using ASCs is helping the patient to help himself.

Steven Sherman


Go back to sleep Thank God the election is over.

No, I really mean thank GOD.

Now your publication can return to complete irrelevance except to the people who read the back pages and the incompetent restaurant and movie reviews.

And also, thanks Steve Hammer. I know for a fact that your vulgar, disrespectful and pathetic columns of the last few months, now near the front of the publication — another symbol of the demise of NUVO since Harrison Ullmann, God rest his soul, passed — served as motivation to get out the vote against nearly everything that you espouse. So, go back to sleep NUVO until it is time to support Julia Carson again. God bless America and its judgement on Nov. 2, 2004.

Tom VanDevender


People will believe anything “People will believe anything if you call it religion.” So said my father as I sat in the dark in the back seat of the family car one Sunday evening on the way home from church.

Most of the people who said they voted for George W. Bush cited as their reason “moral values.” These are the same people who want the Ten Commandments posted in every public square and prayer in public schools. At the same time they support a president who has broken at least two of these commandments — “Thou shalt not kill” (over 100,000 Iraq citizens and over 1,000 American soldiers) and “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” (Where are the “weapons of mass destruction?)

Over one-half of American voters have let themselves be “duped” by a campaign that focused on a brand of “moral values” designed to distract them from the main issues: killing and lies. Where are the moral values of honesty, integrity, toleration and cooperation?

It has been said that the American people will tolerate a certain number of body bags coming home before they will turn against a war. Obviously, 1,000 is not enough. Will it take 54,000 again or will it take more?

Some reports have said that only one in 10 of the eligible voters among the generation which will be asked to sacrifice the most (18- to 24-year-olds) voted in this election and that at least 40 percent of those voted for Bush.

When will Americans learn to think for themselves instead of follow blindly? Will it be before we lose thousands more of our young people? Before the rest of the world turns on us? When will they stop believing anything “just because you call it religion”?

In the words of the protest song for another war: “Where have all the young men gone? They’re all in uniform. … Where have all the soldiers gone? They’ve gone to graveyards, every one. Oh, when will we ever learn? Oh, when will we ever learn?”

Reba Boyd Wooden


Electoral information lamentable Surprisingly, I appreciate The Indianapolis Star for covering the elections somewhat and giving me an idea of who to vote for. They have a voter’s guide online that at least gave me a summary of each candidates’ top issues. I looked for something like that in NUVO, but did not find it.

However, on the whole, electoral information to the voters in Indiana is lamentable. It shows how very un-democratic our country is, even in our supposedly most democratic feature: Election Day.

If I did not take hours out of my schedule to hunt around for information about the candidates, I would have no idea about who I want to vote for. I went to college in Orange, Calif., and there, they send you a lovely booklet that shows exactly what the ballot will look like on Election Day and gives brief summaries by local candidates of their positions. This is particularly helpful for the small local elections, about which I might know nothing, otherwise. However, here in Marion County I had to hunt all over, and still I don’t know a thing about the people running for my township board.

I recommend that Indiana and every state adopt the practice of providing some basic voter information. That might give us candidates that could actually represent us in our republican form of government.

Stephen Yarbrough


I want what you’re smoking Yesterday was a nightmare. I can’t believe that the Republicans have once again won, not only federal but state elections as well. I’m disappointed in the people of America and Indiana. My children will be the ones to suffer from this.

I like the article and the sentiment behind it (Cover, Election Coverage, Nov. 3-10), but what you’re looking for will never happen. There’s too much greed in politics. Politicians will never give up their special interest money. They’re drunk on the power that it gives them. And if you think that network TV would ever give fair and even coverage to an “off” party candidate, well, I want what you’re smoking.

My biggest problem with the election is that George Bush has his head up his ass more often than not. I don’t understand how anyone could vote for a man that attacked another country without provocation, killing thousands of innocents in the process, a man that would change the Constitution of the United States in order to discriminate against a group of people based upon their sexual preference. He’s ruining our economy and our environment. What’s going to be left for our children?

The U.S. was the only “super-power” left after the fall of the Soviet Union. Now China is emerging as a new world power. The United States cannot hope to compete with China. Almost four times as many people, cheap labor and buying power. No wonder our gas prices have risen over the last few years. If you didn’t know this, China became a member of the WTO in 2001. The United States is about to lose its place at the table.

You know, it’s not often that I agree with conservatives on any issue. But John McCain is right. Democrats and Republicans better learn to work together. Not only because of the things I’ve mentioned above but because if they don’t, we may never be able to repair our world image.

Posted by Disappointed

CorrectionIn last week’s Calendar preview of the theater production ICONS, the photo of Jade Esteban Estrada was missing the photo credit. The photo was taken by Angel Hess.


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