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Thus, the AJ population shows evidence of past founding events; however, admixture and selection have also strongly influenced its current genetic makeup." Excerpts from page 16222: "The Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population has long been viewed as a genetic isolate, kept separate from its European neighbors by religious and cultural practices of endogamy (1).
[...] 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.
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.
[...] 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.
Bray and his colleagues did find evidence of elevated linkage disequilibrium in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, but were able to show that this matches signs of interbreeding or 'admixture' between Middle Eastern and European populations.
"Signatures of founder effects, admixture, and selection in the Ashkenazi Jewish population." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) 1 (September 14, 2010): pages 16222-16227. Among the comparative populations were 1705 continental Europeans and 1251 European-Americans.
Recent reports have reaffirmed that the AJ population has a common Middle Eastern origin with other Jewish Diaspora populations, but also suggest that the AJ population, compared with other Jews, has had the most European admixture.An apparent North African ancestry component was also observed as was present in the Sephardic groups potentially reflecting gene flow from Moorish to Jewish populations in Spain from 711 to 1492. Yet the admixture with European people explains why so many European and Syrian Jews have blue eyes and blonde hair.'" Razib Khan."Genetics and the Jews." Discover Magazine - Gene Expression (June 6, 2010). "Two Major Groups of Living Jews." dienekes.(June 3, 2010). Jews worldwide share genetic ties: But analysis also reveals close links to Palestinians and Italians." (June 3, 2010)."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.The IBD segment sharing and the proximity of European Jews to each other and to southern European populations suggested similar origins for European Jewry and refuted large-scale genetic contributions of Central and Eastern European and Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry.