Ashkenazi Jews descend from 350 people, study finds
‘Bottleneck’ dates back 600 to 800 years, genome analysis shows; researcher says among population ‘everyone is a 30th cousin’
The study, published in the Nature Communications journal Tuesday, was authored by Shai Carmi, a computer science professor at Columbia University, and more than 20 medical researchers from Yale, Columbia, Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and other institutions.
Researchers analyzed the genomes of 128 Ashkenazi Jews and compared them to those of non-Jewish Europeans in order to determine which genetic markers are unique to Ashkenazi Jews. They found that the Ashkenazi Jews’ genetic similarities were so acute that one of the study’s researchers, Columbia professor Itsik Pe’er, told the Live Science website that among Ashkenazi Jews, “everyone is a 30th cousin.”
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