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A Piece of My Mind
April 3, 2002

Exclusive Interview With

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2002;287(13):1619-1620. doi:10.1001/jama.287.13.1619

I have trouble falling asleep. At first I have bad dreams, which wake me up. Then I manage to fall asleep again. Suddenly a new scene floods my dreams.

Two small, hunchback, tortured spiral bacteria float beneath the rough, stormy sea of the stomach. Both remember that their ancestors fought to survive here a long time ago; some of their cousins desperately fight against the acidic tide, and only a few relatives are able to catch the plicae and enter the mucosa.1 Other members of the same species appear on the surface only temporarily, dying quickly in the acidic-proteolytic ocean.2 This is, no doubt, the most lonely place in the world. Suddenly a black cobra winds into the stomach. Light shines from one end, enabling one to look up into a human eye through a window. This is an endoscope. From another tunnel a terrible claw reaches out: a forceps. It bites into tissue and steals a piece containing one of the twisted bacteria.

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