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'Father of Chinese genetics' mourned after death
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Renowned Chinese geneticist Tan Jiazhen, who died of multiple organ dysfunction on Nov. 1 at age 99, was cremated on Saturday in Shanghai.

Tan, the founding father of China's genetics, was an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, one of only 11 Chinese scientists so honored.

He introduced the translation of "gene" into the Chinese language and made several scientific breakthroughs.

He was also a "bosom friend" of the Communist Party of China, an outstanding scientist and educator, a remarkable leader of the China Democratic League (CDL) and an active community leader, according to an official obituary.

Tan had acted as honorary chairman of the CDL Central Committee, vice chairman of the standing committee of Shanghai's municipal legislature, and vice chairman of the political advisory body in Shanghai.

He became vice president of Shanghai-based Fudan University in 1961 and suffered persecution during the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.

Tan left a widow, his second wife, aged 87. His first wife died at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, former president Jiang Zemin, and other senior leaders such as Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang sent condolences and visited Tan's family in his final days.

Born on Sept. 15 of 1909 in east China's Zhejiang Province, Tan graduated from Dongwu University in 1930 and obtained a master's degree from Yenching University in 1932, both in China, and a PhD from California Institute of Technology in 1936. He later taught at Columbia University and returned to China in 1937.

He held a distinguished alumni award from Caltech, received a Medal of Merit from Germany's Konstanz University and had been designated as an honorary citizen of California.

(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2008)

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