Pregnancy occurs in many animal species and in nearly all mammals. But the processes of gestating and birthing offspring vary widely across the animal kingdom. Especially stark is the line that divides human reproduction from that of nonhumans. Science is just now beginning to grasp the molecular intricacies of human reproduction and birth (parturition). Because these processes are so complicated, many efforts to test hypotheses are generating interesting data, with more on the way. Here are some of the proposed pathways that are garnering strong support in models of human pregnancy and parturition.
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