Stem cell scientists have created inner ear sensory cells in the lab, paving the way to a cure for permanent deafness.
A charity today described the research as "really exciting" and said it had the potential to benefit millions.
The work holds out the prospect of regenerating the sensitive hair cells that turn sound vibrations into nerve signals.
Regenerating the cells of the inner ear has been the Holy Grail of deafness research. The breakthrough is the culmination of 10 years' work by scientists in the US.
Teen star slated for knife hobby
Teen star Taylor Momsen has been blasted by anti-violence campaigners after boasting she carries a flick-knife everywhere.
The Gossip Girl actress and wannabe singer (16) told how she has a knife collection and "relaxes" by opening and closing a switchblade.
Campaigner Lyn Costello said her comments were "warped" and she needed to "get a brain".
The co-founder of Mothers Against Murder And Aggression said the star should set a better example to young fans.
Bomb blast at Greek prison
A Powerful bomb blast outside Greece's largest prison left one woman injured and nearby homes damaged.
The explosion outside Korydallos prison in Athens came after a warning telephone call to an Athens newspaper, giving police about 20 minutes to cordon off the area. Police said the blast shattered apartment block and storefront windows.
The injured woman was being treated for glass cuts in hospital There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing, but suspicion fell on radical Greek militant groups that have stepped up attacks in recent years.