Lab-created eggs 'could be major fertility breakthrough'

Human eggs have been created outside of the human body for the first time and some scientists believe that it could prove to be a major fertility breakthrough.

The sex cells were grown in a laboratory at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, using tissue from the amniotic membrane - a sac that surrounds a baby in the womb.

Professor Eliezer Shalev, who led the research in Israel, said that donor-free eggs are now one step closer.

"We hope it will soon be possible to grow as many eggs as needed using a regular supply of donated amniotic sacs," she added.

At this stage, the team have only been able to harvest immature egg cells from the experiments, but believe that within two years, they could create cells that are capable of being fertilized by male sperm.

However, Josephine Quintavalle from Comment on Reproductive Ethics said there were ethical issues surrounding the practice and questioned whether the eggs would be safe from defects.