Sunday December 17, 2017
Home India Bene Israel: ...

Bene Israel: Study of Jewish community living in India

0
390
A family of the Bene Israel community in India. Image source: wordpress.com

The Jewish philosopher, Maimonides, in a letter written 800 years ago (circa 1200 CE), briefly mentioned a Jewish community living in India. It is anticipated that he referred to the Bene Israel community.

The Bene Israel community in West India is a unique community whose historical background before the 18th century other than their oral history remains largely unknown.

Oral history among Bene Israel holds that they are descendants of Jews whose ship wrecked on the Konkan shore, with only seven men and seven women surviving. Adding to the vagueness of Bene Israel origin is the fact that a similar story of seven surviving couples is found in the oral histories of other Indian populations.

Here is the Abstract of the Reasearch Article “The Genetics of Bene Israel from India Reveals Both Substantial Jewish and Indian Ancestry”:

Bene Israel members consider themselves as descendants of Jews, yet the identity of Jewish ancestors and their arrival time to India are unknown, with speculations on arrival time varying between the 8th century BCE and the 6th century CE.

Here, we characterize the genetic history of Bene Israel by collecting and genotyping 18 Bene Israel individuals. Combining with 486 individuals from 41 other Jewish, Indian and Pakistani populations, and additional individuals from worldwide populations, we conducted comprehensive genome-wide analyses based on FST, principal component analysis, ADMIXTURE, identity-by-descent sharing, admixture linkage disequilibrium decay, haplotype sharing and allele sharing autocorrelation decay, as well as contrasted patterns between the X chromosome and the autosomes.

The genetics of Bene Israel individuals resemble local Indian populations while at the same time constituting a clearly separated and unique population in India. They are unique among Indian and Pakistani populations we analyzed in sharing considerable genetic ancestry with other Jewish populations.

Putting together the results from all analyses point to Bene Israel being an admixed population with both Jewish and Indian ancestry, with the genetic contribution of each of these ancestral populations being substantial. The admixture took place in the last millennium, about 19–33 generations ago. It involved Middle-Eastern Jews and was sex-biased, with more male Jewish and local female contribution. It was followed by a population bottleneck and high endogamy, which can lead to increased prevalence of recessive diseases in this population.

This study provides an example of how genetic analysis advances our knowledge of human history in cases where other disciplines lack the relevant data to do so.

(The paper was originally published in plos.org. Read full paper here)

Next Story

Hindu American Foundation (HAF) Releases Online Forms for Second Bullying Survey of Hindu American Youth

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background

0
38
Hindu American Youth
Hindu American Foundation. Facebook
  • The Hindu American Foundation from the US aims to inform the society about Hinduism
  • The Foundation is responsible for various research and reports on Hindus all over the world
  • The website of the foundation has released forms for further survey of bullying of Hindu American Youth

New Delhi, August 18, 2017:  nonprofit organization for Hindu community in America, Hindu American Foundation (HAF) works for the well-being of Hindus and spread the Hindu philosophy.

Earlier this year, the Hindu American Foundation had published a report titled ‘Hindus in South Asia and Diaspora: A Survey of Human Rights 2017’. The report was an extensive research work that enlisted the numerous incidents of Human Rights violations against Hindus in various countries.

Also Read: 2017 Hindu Human Rights Report Released by Hindu American Foundation (HAF): Here is What you Need to Know!

Now the HAF is coming out with its second survey of Hindu American youth being bullied in American schools. To reach out to the masses and get the widest survey outreach, their website has released a form. The responses from these forms will be compiled and reported. The second survey will be published next year.

The deadline for the form is until 1st December 2017. The form can be accessed here.

Last year the foundation came out with its first survey report of Hindu American youth being bullied. The survey was titled ‘Classroom Subjected: Bullying and Bias against Hindu Students in American Schools’ which had concluded that Hindu American students continue to be bullied and feel socially ostracized for their religious beliefs.”

In this first edition, it was unfortunate to find out that half of the respondents to the survey felt socially outcasted because of their religious background.

But the report’s objectives were successful. It was a recommended resource at the state as well as federal level.

Bullying is one of the biggest social evils that face our society. With this survey, HAF aims to highlight and combat bullying of the minority on the basis of their religion.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt. 

Next Story

Researchers from Germany give new explanation to the extinction of Neanderthals

A new study by German researchers claim to have figured out why really our ancestors went extinct

0
69
Homo Sapiens
Neanderthal. Wikimedia

August 07, 2012: Early modern humans and Neanderthals shared a similar diet – consisting mainly of mammoth and plants – and also competed for food which led to their downfall, new research has claimed.

“According to our results, Neanderthals and the early modern humans were in direct competition in regard to their diet, as well — and it appears that the Neanderthals drew the short straw in this contest,” said Dorothee Drucker, biogeologist from the University of Tubingen in Germany.

Also Read: Was Human Evolution an Accidental Progression?

The first representatives of Homo sapiens colonized Europe around 43,000 years ago, replacing the Neanderthals there approximately 3,000 years later.

“Many studies examine the question of what led to this displacement — one hypothesis postulates that the diet of the anatomically modern humans was more diverse and flexible and often included fish,” added Herve Bocherens from the University of Tubingen.

Previous research suggested that early modern humans had a more varied diet than the Neanderthals. They fished for their food, did hunting and gathering across the plains.

However, the new study showed that our ancestors rarely ate fish but preferred a diet very similar to that of the Neanderthals.

Importantly, the proportion of plants in the diet of the anatomically modern humans was significantly higher than in Neanderthals – mammoths, on the other hand, appeared to have been one of the primary sources of meat in both species.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

The findings showed that just like the Neanderthals, early modern humans or our ancestors had mainly mammoth and plants on their plates, creating a battle for food that Neanderthals lost, the researchers said.

For the study, appearing in the journal Scientific Reports, the team researched on the dietary habits of early modern man on the basis of the oldest known fossils from the Buran Kaya caves on the Crimean Peninsula in the Ukraine.

They measured the percentage of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the bones of the early humans and the locally present potential prey animals such as Saiga, horse, and deer.

“The results revealed a very high proportion of the nitrogen isotope 15N in early modern humans, which originate but primarily from the consumption of mammoths,” Bocherens noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Renowned Scientist Dr. Pushpa Mitra Bhargava Expires at his Prashant Nagar Residence in Uppal

This Indian scientist was internationally identified as a thinker, institution builder, and molecular biologist

0
75
Science
Dr Pushpa Mitra Bhargava expired on Tuesday. Twitter
  • Dr. Pushpa Mitra Bhargava died on Tuesday after a brief illness
  • He was born in Ajmer on February 22, 1928, and had completed his Ph. D. from Lucknow University
  • He was internationally recognized as an institution builder, molecular biologist, and thinker.

Hyderabad, August 2, 2017: Pushpa Mitra Bhargava, the founder and director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and a top Indian scientist died due to a brief illness on Tuesday.

As per his family members, Bhargava took his last breath at his Prashant Nagar residence in Uppal. He was 89 years-old and had a son and a daughter.

He was born on February 22, 1928, in Ajmer, and had completed his Ph. D. in synthetic chemistry from Lucknow University. Bhargava in 1953 went to the USA and filled in at the post of a project associate at a lab for research on cancer. He had a dynamic part in the revelation of 5-fluorouracil, which is an anti-cancer medication. He was employed at various research organizations in France and the United Kingdom. He had restricted the endorsement of GM in India and asked for a ban of no less than 15 years on hereditarily altered yields in the nation.

Also read: Indian Origin Scientist Part of Team that developed Asteroid flyby to help NASA test Global Tracking Network

His efforts and vision gave rise to the establishment of CCMB in 1977, an institute for basic biology research and seeking its application for the betterment of society.

The staff of CCMB expressed their condolence and profound sadness at his demise. He was a part of the production of nation building scientists who established Indian science. This Indian scientist was recognized as an institution builder, molecular biologist, and thinker at an international level.

His concerns and engagements covered art and culture as well as science and their link to society. He remained immensely engrossed in social issues, especially those related to the effect of science on society in India and the world. His extraordinary commitment and energy will continue to always motivate scientists in future ventures, said an official press release.

Bhargava is also the receiver of more than 100 national and international awards, including the Padma Bhushan, which is the third highest civilian award of the nation in 1986.  He was amid 100 scientists who had conveyed distress over “the ways in which science and reason were getting eroded” and “climate of intolerance” in a statement.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

Bhargava had communicated worry over “RSS people” going to a meeting of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs. He had cautioned that if the present pattern proceeded, India would not remain a democracy and turn into a theocratic nation like Pakistan.

He had additionally blamed Narendra Modi for expressing that India had known the procedure of organ transplantation long back at Indian Science Congress.

-prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter: @Hkaur1025