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Genes Tie N. Africans and European Jews: Study

A new study of genetic affinity among Jewish communities has uncovered evidence of genetic roots among Jews from North Africa that stretch back 2,000 years.

Some findings are surprising: It turns out that Syrian Jews have more genetic commonality with Ashkenazi (European) Jews than with other oriental Jews (Jews from Asian and African lands).

Also, Yemenite Jews, who have long been thought to have lived in isolation, apparently have genetic connections with people from neighboring states. Jews of North African origins have greater genetic affinity with Ashkenazi Jews that with non-Jewish residents from North African countries, according to the research study, whose findings were released this week.

The study was conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, in collaboration with Israeli researchers from the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, as well as scientists from Columbia and Stanford universities and institutions in France and Spain. The researchers released their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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