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Genetic studies on Jews are part of the population genetics discipline and are used to better understand the chronology of migration provided by research in other fields, such as history, archaeology, linguistics, and paleontology.
Jews living in the North African, Italian, and Iberian regions show variable frequencies of admixture with the historical non-Jewish host population along the maternal lines.
In the case of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews (in particular Moroccan Jews), who are closely related, the source of non-Jewish admixture is mainly southern European.
This is consistent with Jewish traditions in placing most Jewish paternal origins in the region of the Middle East.
A study conducted in 2013 found no evidence of a Khazar origin for Ashkenazi Jews and suggested that "Ashkenazi Jews share the greatest genetic ancestry with other Jewish populations, and among non-Jewish populations, with groups from Europe and the Middle East.
They show that Jewish populations have tended to form relatively closely related groups in independent communities, with most in a community sharing significant ancestry in common.
For Jewish populations of the diaspora, the genetic composition of Ashkenazi, Sephardi, and Mizrahi Jewish populations show a predominant amount of shared Middle Eastern ancestry.
With the exception of Ethiopian and Indian Jews, it has been argued that all of the Jewish populations have mitochondrial genomes that were of Middle Eastern origin. to the contrary published work suggesting that an estimated "80 percent of Ashkenazi maternal ancestry comes from women indigenous to Europe, and 8 percent from the Near East, with the rest uncertain", suggesting that Jewish males migrated to Europe and took new wives from the local population, and converted them to Judaism. argues that the K lineages in Ashkenazi Jews might have an ancient Near Eastern source.
Studies of autosomal DNA, which look at the entire DNA mixture, have become increasingly important as the technology develops.
In a study of Israeli and Palestinian Muslim Arabs, more than 70% of the Jewish men and 82% of the Arab men whose DNA was studied, had inherited their Y chromosomes from the same paternal ancestors, who lived in the region within the last few thousand years.
"Our recent study of high-resolution microsatellite haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool." In relation to the region of the Fertile Crescent, the same study noted; "In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be much more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors." concluded that the Y chromosome of most Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews contained mutations that are also common among Middle Eastern peoples, but uncommon in the general European population.
In particular, they investigate whether there is a common genetic heritage among various Jewish populations.