CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) — For a third time, the celebrated “Body Worlds” exhibit is back at the Museum of Science and Industry.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the exhibit of real human and animal bodies that have been “plastinated” opens Friday at the MSI. Museum members also get a preview of the exhibit from 1 to 9 p.m. Thursday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

The plastination process allows people to see what the internal body looks like under a clear plastic coating. Celebrity anatomist Gunther von Hagens is the innovator behind the process, and the exhibits.

This latest exhibition is called “Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life.” It explores the human body living through time, in states of distress, disease and good health.

“It covers specimens of the prenatal development – that is how we start – and we have specimens to all our bodily functions on the locomotive system, on the nervous system, on the respiratory system,” said designer Angelina Whalley.

Among the highlights are a look at conception and fetal life, and a display on the eyesight of artists Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, who suffered from eye disease, the museum says.

In total, the exhibit features 20 full size plastinated bodies, including an ostrich, and plastinates of hockey and football players frozen in motion.

Previous “Body Worlds” exhibits were mounted at the MSI in 2005 and 2007, and proved so popular that the museum kept them open for 24 hours toward the end of their runs.

Some of von Hagens’ plastinated specimens are also on display permanently at the museum, as part of the “YOU! The Experience” exhibit.

“Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life” runs through Sept. 5.

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