Nearly half of Ashkenazi Jews descended from just four women

Some 3.5 million of today's &to=' target=_blank>Ashkenazi Jews _ about 40 percent of the total Ashkenazi population _ are descended from just four women, a genetic study indicates.

Those women apparently lived somewhere in Europe within the last 2,000 years, but not necessarily in the same place or even the same century, said lead author Dr. Doron Behar of the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel.

He did the work with Karl Skorecki of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and others.

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