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‘Human: The World Within’ combines amazing scientific details and personal reflections about how our bodies work

A physician sees a patient at a hospital in New Orleans in the PBS series “Human: The World Within.” (Courtesy of Ben Cannon)

From your nervous system to your beating heart, your body is an enormous universe of cells, biological processes and hidden systems.

What’s it like in there? A PBS series takes you inside. “Human: The World Within” explores how the body’s internal systems power human lives, telling the personal stories of people around the world and explaining the science of what’s happening deep inside their bodies.

Narrated by Radiolab host Jad Abumrad, the six-part show combines scientific explanation and human interest. Each episode explores a different bodily system: the brain and nervous system, the heart and circulatory system, the human gut, the immune system, the senses, and the reproductive system.

Abumrad is an engaging storyteller, and he’s got plenty of material — bodies perform thousands of tasks every second, and their inner workings are astonishingly complex.

The show is studded with scientific research and flashy graphics. But its true strength is in its humanity. In the episode on the gut, for example, the stories of a Navajo ultramarathoner and a Hindu faster raise and answer questions about how the body turns food into energy and what happens when that energy is taxed to its limits.

The result is surprisingly emotional, offering viewers a chance to marvel at processes and parts it’s easy to take for granted.

You may come to “Human” for a better understanding of, say, how the body’s immune system manages to stave off the threats presented by microorganisms such as viruses and bacteria. But you just might leave with an appreciation for the endless array of tasks, processes and parts that make you who you are.

Watch the series on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern. Check your local PBS station for listings.

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