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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.
"Abraham's Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry." The American Journal of Human Genetics 86:6 (June 3, 2010): pages 850-859.
Abstract: "For more than a century, Jews and non-Jews alike have tried to define the relatedness of contemporary Jewish people.
Our analysis indeed revealed higher European admixture than predicted from previous Y-chromosome analyses.
Moreover, we also show that admixture directly correlates with high LD, suggesting that admixture has increased both genetic diversity and LD in the AJ population.
Also used for comparison were 3 Middle Eastern populations: Palestinian Arabs, Druze, and Bedouins.Additionally, we applied extended haplotype tests to determine whether positive selection can account for the level of AJ-prevalent diseases.We identified genomic regions under selection that account for lactose and alcohol tolerance, and although we found evidence for positive selection at some AJ-prevalent disease loci, the higher incidence of the majority of these diseases is likely the result of genetic drift following a bottleneck.The genomic analysis also provided information about selection pressures on mutations prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, such as those leading to conditions like Tay-Sachs disease or mutations in cancer susceptibility genes like BRCA1.
[...]" Gil Atzmon, Li Hao, Itsik Pe'er, Christopher Velez, Alexander Pearlman, Pier Francesco Palamara, Bernice Morrow, Eitan Friedman, Carole Oddoux, Edward Burns, Harry Ostrer.[...] High linkage disequilibrium can come either from an isolated population (for example, an island whose residents are all descendents of shipwreck survivors) or the relatively recent mixture of separate populations.