Monday, March 1, 2010

Is Jewish Larry David really 37% Native American?

Larry David recently took a genetic test that apparently showed that over a third of his genome is Native American but his ancestry is Ashkenazi Jewish. How can this be? Many of these genetic tests ignore genetic differences between Europeans and Middle Easterners so when a Jewish or other Middle Eastern person takes one of these tests and is found to have DNA that is commonly found in the Middle East but not Europe, the computer program is left with the problem of how to categorize it. In many programs, any DNA that cannot be easily assigned to Europeans, Africans or East Asians is automatically listed as Native American. Therefore, Larry David's Native American DNA is much more likely to be Semitic genetic material not commonly found amongst native Europeans.

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