The potentials, and hence popularity, of assessing embryonic stem (ES) cells in regenerative medicine applications is no longer a surprise to either scientists or the general public. This is clearly reflected in the ever-increasing publications in which ES cell biology and differentiation along diverse lineages appear in the academic as well as the popular press. It is also reflected in the intense interest in the isolation and characterization of ES cells from other species for preclinical studies. It therefore seemed timely to capture important advances in the field since the publication of the Embryonic Stem Cells: Methods and Protocols volume four years ago.

To provide an update and complement the original mouse ES cell book, I have focused the initial part of the first volume of the new series on ES cells recently isolated from other/nonmouse species. Second, the volumes contain numerous updates, more advanced approaches, and completely new protocols for the use of ES cells in studies of diverse cell lineages. I believe that these two volumes will complement and expand the experimental repertoires of both experts and novices in the field. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all of the contributors for their generosity and dedication in putting together their protocols. Without them, these volumes would not exist.

I am grateful to Dr. John Walker for his support and encouragement during the process. I would also like to thank several others at the Humana Press for their support: initially Elyse O'Grady and Craig Adams, and more recently Damien DeFrances. Also, I am grateful to Jennifer Hackworth for her wonderful support during the production of this volume.

I would also like to thank Jane Aubin and N. Urfe for their continuous support and encouragement, as well as Tammy Troy who has once again been fantastic in helping to put together these volumes.

Kursad Turksen

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