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Researchers in New York and Tel Aviv conducted a genome-wide analysis on 237 individuals from seven well-established Jewish communities around the world, hailing from Iran, Iraq, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria and eastern Europe.The team then compared these genetic profiles to those of non-Jews in the same geographic regions based on data from the Human Genome Diversity Project....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)."Abraham's Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry." The American Journal of Human Genetics 86:6 (June 3, 2010): pages 850-859.Abstract: "For more than a century, Jews and non-Jews alike have tried to define the relatedness of contemporary Jewish people.
[...] 'We were surprised to find evidence that Ashkenazi Jews have higher heterozygosity than Europeans, contradicting the widely-held presumption that they have been a largely isolated group,' says first author Steven Bray, Ph D, a postdoctoral fellow in Warren's laboratory.Here, genome-wide analysis of seven Jewish groups (Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek, and Ashkenazi) and comparison with non-Jewish groups demonstrated distinctive Jewish population clusters, each with shared Middle Eastern ancestry, proximity to contemporary Middle Eastern populations, and variable degrees of European and North African admixture.Two major groups were identified by principal component, phylogenetic, and identity by descent (IBD) analysis: Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews. "Signatures of founder effects, admixture, and selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 1 (September 14, 2010): pages 16222-16227. Among the comparative populations were 1705 continental Europeans and 1251 European-Americans.Recent reports have reaffirmed that the AJ population has a common Middle Eastern origin with other Jewish Diaspora populations, but also suggest that the AJ population, compared with other Jews, has had the most European admixture.