Most Ashkenazi Jews Trace Maternal Lineage To Europe, Study Finds

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By Tia Ghose,Livescience.com / October 8, 2013 The find contradicts the notion that European Jews mostly descend from people who left Israel about 2,000 years ago. clh/HO/The Wellcome Trust/Reuters The Christian Science Monitor Weekly Digital Edition 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 the history of Ashkenazi Jews before they were expelled from the Mediterranean and settled in what is now Poland around the 12th century. On average, all Ashkenazi Jews are genetically as closely related to each other as fourth or fifth cousins, said Dr. Harry Ostrer, a pathology, pediatrics and genetics professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the author of “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People” (Oxford University Press, 2012). RECOMMENDED: Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz But depending on whether the lineage gets traced through maternal or paternal DNA or through the rest of the genome, researchers got very different answers for whether Ashkenazi originally came from Europe or the Near East. Past research found that 50 percent to 80 percent of DNA from the Ashkenazi Y chromosome , which is used to trace the male lineage, originated in the Near East, Richards said. That supported a story wherein Jews came from Israel and largely eschewed intermarriage when they settled in Europe. [ The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds ] But historical documents tell a slightly different tale. Based on accounts such as those of Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, by the time of the destruction of the Second Temple in A.D.

ICE Clear Europe Announces Successful Launch of European CDS Client Clearing; Five Clients Active on Day One

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