Let me preface this item by saying that I’m not a DNA expert. I leave that to the many brilliant people in the field.
However, as an entry in the food for thought category, click here for “Detective work solves a genetic mystery,” from the University of Sydney (Australia).
Researcher Marc Buhler believes he has tracked down the source of a genetic marker shared by individuals with Jewish and Viking ancestral origins. The marker in question is a mutation that may be an inherited shield against AIDS.
The question: How do people from such different regions carry this genetic inheritance? Where did their paths cross?
One in five Caucasians share a common ancestor who carried that marker, says Buhler, who believes the mutation’s carrier lived around 800 CE, northeast of the Black Sea in the Khazars’ neighborhood.
In Australia, he tested 807 Ashkenazi Jews and 311 non-Jews, and found the marker in one in four Ashkenazi Jews, and in one in three whose grandparents came from Russia, Poland, Austria or Czechoslovakia.
Buhler believes the genetic marker came to Scandinavia when Swedish Vikings visited the area between 800-1000 CE, and was distributed to Ashkenazi Jews when many of them left Germany after a 1350 bout of plague and traveled east, mingling with the Jews of the Khazar region.
He says that a previous study indicated the incidence of this marker in about one in three Ashkenazi Jews and one in four Icelanders.
Genealogists around the world are waiting anxiously for the development of a time-travel machine, so we’ll finally be able to ask questions of our ancestors and resolve some of this speculation.
Filed under: DNA