The September issue of CSH Protocols is now available online, and this month brings a set of nine protocols from Renee Reijo Pera’s laboratory at Stanford describing methods for the generation, maintenance and analysis of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). With the upcoming presidential elections, and both candidates favoring expanding federal funding for stem cell research (and one vice presidential candidate agrees, the other, not so much), the near future should see increased usage of these valuable research techniques. Two of these hESC protocols are featured in this month’s issue (our featured protocols each month are available to subscribers and non-subscribers alike).

Noninvasive Human Nuclear Transfer with Embryonic Stem Cells describes the transfer of a nucleus from a somatic cell to an enucleated oocyte for reprogramming to an embryonic cell state. Older methods commonly use Hoechst and UV light, which can lead to DNA damage. Here, a polarized microscopic imaging system is used to visualize the meiotic spindle without DNA staining and UV illumination.

Culturing Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Feeder-Free Conditions describes the culture of hESCs in feeder-free conditions on Matrigel with MEF-conditioned medium. This protocol can be used for applications such as genetic modification of hESCs without feeder cell contamination.