Question: How does one identify "Jewish" or "Middle Eastern" DNA?


Question: How does one identify "Jewish" or "Middle Eastern" DNA?

Identifying DNA criteria for Manasseh and Ephraim may always be beyond our reach

Identifying DNA criteria for Manasseh and Ephraim may always be beyond our reach. But, even identifying markers for Jews—a group that has remained relatively cohesive and refrained from intermarriage with others more than most groups—is an extraordinarily difficult undertaking.

One author cautioned:

Studies of human genetic diversity have barely begun. Yet the fashion for genetic ancestry testing is booming. . . . Other groups, such as Jews, are now being targeted. This despite the fact that Jewish communities have little in common on their mitochondrial side—the maternal line down which Judaism is traditionally inherited. It's the male side that shows common ancestry between different Jewish communities—so, of course, that's what the geneticists focus on. . . . Geneticists—like preachers and philosophers before them—need to avoid promising more than they can deliver. [1]

Notes

  1. Martin Richards, "Beware the Gene Genies," Guardian (21 February 2003), accessed 7 July 2006. off-site; cited by Stewart, "DNA and the Book of Mormon."