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Article
August 31, 1907

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A METHOD OF STUDY OF EXPERIMENTAL THERAPEUTICS.

JAMA. 1907;XLIX(9):776-777. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02530090052003
Abstract

Although a vague appreciation of the fact that a therapeutic agent can act only on tissues with which it can combine has existed in medical thought since the earliest times, yet its proof and its application to therapeutic studies have been slow in coming. One of the reasons for this tardy progress lies in the impossibility of observing exactly how ordinary therapeutic agents distribute themselves in the healthy and diseased body, a difficulty that has been partly overcome in studies of therapeutic substances that are readily visible to the investigator even when highly diluted, such as the dyes. By introducing the "vital stains," that is, dyes which penetrate living cells without seriously injuring them, Ehrlich opened not only a new field of biologic investigation but also a new method for the study of experimental therapeutics. In 1880, when he first urged the value of methylene blue as a stain for

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