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DNA Studies

The Origins of The Lemba “Black Jews” of Southern Africa: Evidence From P12F2 and Other Y-Chromosome Markers.

The Origins of The Lemba “Black Jews” of Southern Africa: Evidence From P12F2 and Other Y-Chromosome Markers.

Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information The Lemba are a southern African Bantu-speaking population claiming Jewish ancestry. Allele frequencies at four different Y-specific polymorphic loci, as well as extended-haplotype frequencies that included data from several loci, were analyzed in an attempt to establish the genetic affinities and origins of the Lemba. The results suggest that > or = 50% of the Lemba Y chromosomes are Semitic in origin, approximately 40% are Negroid, and the ancestry of the remainder cannot be resolved. These Y-specific genetic findings are consistent with Lemba oral tradition, and analysis of the history of Jewish people and…
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A Substantial Prehistoric European Ancestry Amongst Ashkenazi Maternal Lineages

A Substantial Prehistoric European Ancestry Amongst Ashkenazi Maternal Lineages

Source: Nature Abstract The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus. Furthermore, most of the remaining minor founders share a similar deep European ancestry. Thus the great majority of Ashkenazi maternal…
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Genetic Roots of the Ashkenazi Jews

Genetic Roots of the Ashkenazi Jews

Source: The Scientist Most Ashkenazi Jews, traditionally believed to have descended from the ancient tribes of Israel, may in fact be maternally descended from prehistoric Europeans. The majority of Ashkenazi Jews are descended from prehistoric European women, according to study published today (October 8) in Nature Communications. While the Jewish religion began in the Near East, and the Ashkenazi Jews were believed to have origins in the early indigenous tribes of this region, new evidence from mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on exclusively from mother to child, suggests that female ancestors of most modern Ashkenazi Jews converted to Judaism in…
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Surprise: Ashkenazi Jews Are Genetically European

Surprise: Ashkenazi Jews Are Genetically European

Source: Live Science The origin of the Ashkenazi Jews, who come most recently from Europe, has largely been shrouded in mystery. But a new study suggests that at least their maternal lineage may derive largely from Europe. Though the finding may seem intuitive, it contradicts the notion that European Jews mostly descend from people who left Israel and the Middle East around 2,000 years ago. Instead, a substantial proportion of the population originates from local Europeans who converted to Judaism, said study co-author Martin Richards, an archaeogeneticist at the University of Huddersfield in England. Tangled legacy Little is known about…
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DNA Backs A Tribe’s Tradition Of Early Descent From the Jews

DNA Backs A Tribe’s Tradition Of Early Descent From the Jews

Source: New York Times The Lemba, a Bantu-speaking people of southern Africa, have a tradition that they were led out of Judea by a man named Buba. They practice circumcision, keep one day a week holy and avoid eating pork or piglike animals, such as the hippopotamus. Several groups around the world practice Judaic rites or claim to be descended from biblical tribes without having any ancestral Jewish connection. And there is no Buba in the records of Jewish history. But the remarkable thing about the Lemba tradition is that it may be exactly right. A team of geneticists has…
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