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Sigma-Aldrich Corporation - Special Call

We also have about, I would say, close to 20% of our business, is what we refer to as our Analytical business and Material Science business. And those are the 2 high-growth businesses for us. The Analytical business is where we supply separation columns, we are in the Standards business and we have exposure to different markets such as environmental safety, food safety and we, frankly, made a couple of acquisitions in the last 12 months in the space. And those businesses are doing extremely well for us and growing and we're very, very pleased.

Of course, then we have our Essentials and Labware business, which is the basic stuff that lab scientists use in the labs. Whether it's supplying acids, or bases or solvents. Again, what we bring there is convenience, we bring high quality -- or high purity of products that we provide. And even though that market is fairly mature and not growing as fast as some of the other markets that I just talked about, we have very important segments there. And then of course, same thing with the Chemistry business where we have been -- we've had some tremendous run [ph].

I think what you're going to hear from Frank is there are several tenets of our strategy in research. We are expanding our products and services. We're using innovation clearly, and we are also using the eBusiness channel. We are expanding into the emerging markets such -- it's a combination of many, many things that we are doing in the Research business that certainly gives us a lot of optimism of where we can take this business over the coming few years.

The SAFC business, and you're going to hear Jim talk about it. Really it's a based on 3 things. One, we are fairly unique in what we do. So we have chosen areas where products are hard to manufacture. And what we do is typically stuff that is very difficult to manufacture, is very difficult to handle. So whether it's precursor chemicals for the electronics industry, which are highly flammable and difficult to handle or high potency drugs, it's -- typically that's what we do. It's usually products that have a very critical impact on the performance of the end product. So for our customers, this is a very significant product. And just one thing I would say is it's usually a product that makes up a small part of the cost of the end product. It gives us leverage on pricing and many other things, which is why this business for us, unlike some of the high-volumes, some already refined Chemical business, they're very, very far from what we do. And Jim is going to talk about that. And this business that we have been growing successfully. I would say this 2011 was a second-year in a row that we grew this business in the high-single digits, and we expect the same in 2012. And so we are very excited about some of the things that we're doing. And this is products and services. We acquired BioReliance. It has the exposure to the same kind of customer base and the same growth trends. And Charlie Harwood, who runs BioReliance is here today, and he will speak with you about the things that we are doing in BioReliance and some of the integration issues that we have been working on.

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