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Family Tree DNA: Genetic Testing Service Get genetically tested to discover your relationship to other families, other Jews, and other ethnic groups. Abstract: "The Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population has long been viewed as a genetic isolate, yet it is still unclear how population bottlenecks, admixture, or positive selection contribute to its genetic structure.Projects you might qualify to join include "Gesher Galicia - Jewish DNA Project", "Jewish Gen Belarus SIG DNA Project", "Jewish Gen Hungarian SIG DNA Project", "German Jewish Gersig DNA Project", "Jewish Frankfurt", "Sephardic Heritage DNA Project", "Jews of Rhodes Project", "The Jewish R1b Project", "Ashkenazi Levite R1a1", and "Jewish E Project". Here we analyzed a large AJ cohort and found higher linkage disequilibrium (LD) and identity-by-descent relative to Europeans, as expected for an isolate.Thus, the AJ population shows evidence of past founding events; however, admixture and selection have also strongly influenced its current genetic makeup." Excerpts from page 16222: "The Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population has long been viewed as a genetic isolate, kept separate from its European neighbors by religious and cultural practices of endogamy (1).[...] Y-chromosome studies also indicate only a low amount of admixture with neighboring Europeans (8-10).'Previous genetic studies of blood group and serum markers suggested that Jewish groups had Middle Eastern origin with greater genetic similarity between paired Jewish populations,' says senior study author, Dr. 'More recent studies of Y chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA have pointed to founder effects of both Middle Eastern and local origin, yet, the issue of how to characterize Jewish people as mere coreligionists or as genetic isolates that may be closely or loosely related remained unresolved. Yet the genomes of the Jewish Diaspora groups have distinctive features that are representative of each group's genetic history.' says Dr. 'Our study demonstrated that the studied Jewish populations represent a series of geographical isolates or clusters with genetic threads that weave them together,' added Dr. The researchers identified distinct Jewish population clusters that each exhibited a shared Middle Eastern ancestry, proximity to contemporary Middle Eastern populations and variable degrees of European and North African genetic intermingling. The two major groups, Middle Eastern Jews and European Jews, were timed to have diverged from each other approximately 2500 years ago.Southern European populations show the greatest proximity to Ashkenazi, Sephardic and Italian Jews, reflecting the large-scale southern European conversion and admixture known to have occurred over 2,000 years ago during the formation of the European Jewry. Ostrer noted, 'The study supports the idea of a Jewish people linked by a shared genetic history.
However, these and successor studies of monoallelic Y chromosomal and mitochondrial genetic markers did not resolve the issues of within and between-group Jewish genetic identity.Thus, this study demonstrates that European/Syrian and Middle Eastern Jews represent a series of geographical isolates or clusters woven together by shared IBD genetic threads." "The genetic, cultural and religious traditions of contemporary Jewish people originated in the Middle East over three thousand years ago.Since that time, Jewish communities have migrated from the Middle East into Europe, North Africa and across the world. This study shows that although Jewish people experienced genetic mixing with surrounding populations, they retained a genetic coherence along with a religious one.Excerpts: "Different communities of Jews around the world share more than just religious or cultural practices -- they also have strong genetic commonalities, according to the largest genetic analysis of Jewish people to date.But the study also found strong genetic ties to non-Jewish groups, with the closest genetic neighbours on the European side being Italians, and on the Middle Eastern side the Druze, Bedouin and Palestinians.