Scottish scientists have grown a human egg to maturity outside the body for the first time.
Researchers say the technique could pave the way for new fertility treatments, widening the scope of what doctors are able to achieve.
"This opens a whole window into the process of human egg development. There is so much that we don't understand about egg development in humans and this system will allow us to study the process in more detail," said Professor Evelyn Telfer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
Also watching cautiously are women like Stephanie Trussler who was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at the age of twenty-six.
"If for example, I can one day, potentially, have children I mean right now it's not something that's on the agenda, but I think that makes it more important for someone like myself to be able to know there might be some form of hope in the future," said Trussler.
Researchers are now looking at ways the optimise the conditions in which the egg is grown to see how healthy it is