This is the first of three planned volumes in the Methods in Enzymology series on the topic of stem cells. This volume is a unique anthology of stem cell techniques written by experts from the top laboratories in the world. The contributors not only have hands-on experience in the field but often have developed the original approaches that they share with great attention to detail. The chapters provide a brief review of each field followed by a “cookbook” and handy illustrations. The collection of protocols includes the isolation and maintenance of stem cells from various species using “conventional” and novel methods, such as derivation of ES cells from single blastomeres, differentiation of stem cells into specific tissue types, isolation and maintenance of somatic stem cells, stem cell-specific techniques and approaches to tissue engineering using stem cell derivatives. The reader will find that some of the topics are covered by more than one group of authors and complement each other. Comprehensive step-by-step protocols and informative illustrations can be easily followed by even the least experienced researchers in the field, and allow the setup and troubleshooting of these state-of-the-art technologies in other laboratories.