The first period spanned some 60 years, closely tracking the rise of organic chemistry in Western Europe in the early 1800s. Between 1850 and 1910, physiological chemists, primarily in Germany and Switzerland, intrigued by the fate of foreign compounds in humans, discovered that humans could transform most drugs they ingested to relatively harmless products prior to excreting them. Gregor Mendel's (1822-1884) discovery in 1865 of the fundamental laws of inheritance also occurred during this period, as well as the inference during the 1870s of "drug receptor'' molecules by Charles Langley in England and Paul Ehrlich in Germany. The cytopharmacological studies of Langley and Ehrlich were notable for clarifying why the actions of drugs and other chemicals were localized to specific tissues.
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