A population of Native American Indians from the US state of Colorado has been found to have a genetic mutation typical of Ashkenazi Jews. The finding suggests the presence of common roots that date back to the days of Christopher Columbus.
According to RT news, the so-called “Ashkenazi mutation” is a deleterious modification in BRCA1 gene which increases risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Researchers from the Sheba (Tel Hashomer) Medical Center in Israel found it in the DNA of descendants of those Indians who moved from Mexico to Colorado some 200 years ago.
The same mutation was earlier tracked in Hispanic Americans whose ancestors also arrived in the United States from Mexico and South America.
Computer analysis of genetic data has revealed that the two groups should have a common ancestor – a Jewish person who moved from Europe to the New World as far back as 600 years ago. At around the same time that Christopher Columbus discovered America, and the Jewish population was expelled from Spain.
In their publication in the European Journal of Human Genetics, the team, led by Eitan Friedman, notes that Colorado’s Mexican Indians do not seem to have any traditions that would link them to Jews.