Category Archives: Population Genetics: Jewish

Exponential growth of Ashkenazi Jews following a Medieval population bottleneck

A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that  the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe. […]

Jewish population genetics and intelligence revisted

When I reviewed the data on Jewish population genetics for my 1994 book, A People That Shall Dwell Alone, the take home message was that Jews were a Middle Eastern group. But that was before the massive improvements in population genetic methods of recent years. One would think that this would result in a clear […]

Who are the Jews?

Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People Harry Ostrer Oxford University Press: 2012 288pp., $24.95 Are Jews a religion or race? This is the age-old question that medical geneticist Harry Ostrer tackles in his concise but informative book, Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People. As Professor of Pathology and Genetics at Albert […]