In addition, analyses of disease-related genes of higher prevalence in the Ashkenazi Jewish population indicate that only a minority of traits show signs of positive selection, suggesting that most have arisen through random genetic drift.[...] '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.
But the study also found strong genetic ties to non-Jewish groups, with the closest genetic neighbours on the European side being Italians, and on the Middle Eastern side the Druze, Bedouin and Palestinians.
Order a DNA kit from FTDNA's headquarters in the USA This page collects Y-DNA and mt DNA data and analysis related to traditionally Rabbinical Jewish populations of the world, including: Ashkenazim (Jews of Northern and Eastern Europe) • Sephardim (Spanish and Portuguese Jews) • Mizrakhim (Middle Eastern Jews) • Italkim (Italian Jews) • Caucasian Mountain Jews (Dagestani and Azerbaijani Jews) • Georgian Jews • Indian Jews • North African Jews • Yemenite Jews • Ethiopian Jews Steven M. However, paradoxically we also found higher genetic diversity, a sign of an older or more admixed population but not of a long-term isolate.
Also used for comparison were 3 Middle Eastern populations: Palestinian Arabs, Druze, and Bedouins.
The researchers were able to estimate that between 35 and 55 percent of the modern Ashkenazi genome comes from European descent.
[...] He adds that his group's analysis agrees with a recently published study from New York University and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and supports estimates of a high level of European admixture, accounting for up to half of the genetic make-up of contemporary Ashkenazi.