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And the number continues to shrink...

Thomson Corp. said yesterday that it had acquired the publishing assets of Philadelphia-based Biological Abstracts Inc. and Biosis, a life-sciences indexing service. Financial terms of the deal, which closed Friday, were not disclosed. The nonprofit Biosis' 125 employees, at 20th and Market Streets, and 40 other employees in York, England, now work for Thomson ISI, a business unit of Thomson Scientific & Healthcare, based in Philadelphia. Biosis' employees, now in leased space at Two Commerce Square, will move eventually to Thomson offices at 35th and Market Streets, said Michael Tansey, president and chief executive officer of Thomson Scientific. "Nobody lost their jobs," he said. Because the transaction involved a for-profit company buying a nonprofit, proceeds from the sale of Biosis' publishing assets will go to a new foundation, the J.R.S. Foundation, run by Biosis' former board of trustees to "further the work of biological scientists," said Joel Baron, an adviser to the former Biosis board. "The foundation money could be used for funding life-science research, supporting the work of researchers in Third World countries, or to support other foundations," Baron said. "A final determination has not been made." Biosis, which was founded in 1926, produces databases and services for life-sciences research, including Biological Abstracts, Biosis Previews and Zoological Record, which is published jointly with the Zoological Society of London. Thomson said Biosis was the world's largest abstracting and indexing service. Toronto-based Thomson, with $7.8 billion in revenue in 2002, is a publisher of specialized information for businesses, with more than 20 million users in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information, corporate training, scientific research, and health care. Thomson's products range from Westlaw legal databases and the Physicians' Desk Reference to university textbooks. Thomson ISI, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1958 as the Institute for Scientific Information, provides Web-based information to researchers, students and businesses worldwide. Biosis announced in May that it was seeking a partner to ensure that researchers, educators, students and others would have continued affordable access to biological research. In October, Biosis said it was in final negotiations with Thomson. [Source: http://www.philly.com]

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