Marina Faerman

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel

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Publications (18)122.65 Total impact

  • Forensic Science International: Genetics 11/2011; 5(5):561-2. · 3.86 Impact Factor
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  • Israel Journal of Earth Sciences 01/2007; 56(2):217-229.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent genetic studies, based on Y chromosome polymorphic markers, showed that Ashkenazi Jews are more closely related to other Jewish and Middle Eastern groups than to their host populations in Europe. However, Ashkenazim have an elevated frequency of R-M17, the dominant Y chromosome haplogroup in Eastern Europeans, suggesting possible gene flow. In the present study of 495 Y chromosomes of Ashkenazim, 57 (11.5%) were found to belong to R-M17. Detailed analyses of haplotype structure, diversity and geographic distribution suggest a founder effect for this haplogroup, introduced at an early stage into the evolving Ashkenazi community in Europe. R-M17 chromosomes in Ashkenazim may represent vestiges of the mysterious Khazars.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 04/2005; 13(3):388-91. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    The American Journal of Human Genetics 07/2002; 70(6):1594-6. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A sample of 526 Y chromosomes representing six Middle Eastern populations (Ashkenazi, Sephardic, and Kurdish Jews from Israel; Muslim Kurds; Muslim Arabs from Israel and the Palestinian Authority Area; and Bedouin from the Negev) was analyzed for 13 binary polymorphisms and six microsatellite loci. The investigation of the genetic relationship among three Jewish communities revealed that Kurdish and Sephardic Jews were indistinguishable from one another, whereas both differed slightly, yet significantly, from Ashkenazi Jews. The differences among Ashkenazim may be a result of low-level gene flow from European populations and/or genetic drift during isolation. Admixture between Kurdish Jews and their former Muslim host population in Kurdistan appeared to be negligible. In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors. The two haplogroups Eu 9 and Eu 10 constitute a major part of the Y chromosome pool in the analyzed sample. Our data suggest that Eu 9 originated in the northern part, and Eu 10 in the southern part of the Fertile Crescent. Genetic dating yielded estimates of the expansion of both haplogroups that cover the Neolithic period in the region. Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin differed from the other Middle Eastern populations studied here, mainly in specific high-frequency Eu 10 haplotypes not found in the non-Arab groups. These chromosomes might have been introduced through migrations from the Arabian Peninsula during the last two millennia. The present study contributes to the elucidation of the complex demographic history that shaped the present-day genetic landscape in the region.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 12/2001; 69(5):1095-112. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deviation from the stepwise mutation model (SMM) at specific human microsatellite loci has implications for population genetic and forensic investigations. In the present study, data on six Y chromosome-specific microsatellites were pooled for 455 paternally unrelated males from six Middle Eastern populations. All chromosomes were assigned to three haplogroups defined by six binary polymorphisms. Two of the microsatellite loci tested, DYS388 and DYS392, displayed marked haplogroup-specific differences in their allele variability. A bimodal distribution of short and long alleles was observed for DYS388 in haplogroup 1 and for DYS392 in haplogroups 1 and 2. Further investigation showed that the short/long alleles segregated almost completely between genealogically distinct haplogroups defined by additional binary markers. Thus, these two loci have a discriminatory power similar to a binary polymorphism. DYS388 was characterised by an extremely low mutation rate in haplogroups 2 and 3, as was DYS392 in haplogroup 3. Sequence analysis of the repeat regions at the two loci revealed no irregularities, indicating that the triplet expansion in these loci is not controlled by sequence variation at the repeat level. A high frequency of long DYS388 alleles has, so far, been found only in populations originating in the Middle East, suggesting that this microsatellite is useful as a region-specific marker.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 02/2001; 9(1):22-6. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    Simon Mays, Marina Faerman
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    ABSTRACT: Previous study of infant burials has suggested that infanticide was routinely practised during the Roman period in Britain. This, together with the observation that there is an adult sex imbalance in favour of males at many Romano-British cemetery sites, has raised the question of female infanticide. We attempted to investigate this possibility by identifying sex in some infant skeletons from Romano-British contexts using ancient DNA (aDNA) techniques. Of 31 individuals sampled, sex identification was successful in 13, of which nine were males and four females. These results are discussed in the light of previous work on DNA-based seeking of infant burials.
    Journal of Archaeological Science. 01/2001;
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    ABSTRACT: High-resolution Y chromosome haplotype analysis was performed in 143 paternally unrelated Israeli and Palestinian Moslem Arabs (I&P Arabs) by screening for 11 binary polymorphisms and six microsatellite loci. Two frequent haplotypes were found among the 83 detected: the modal haplotype of the I&P Arabs (approximately 14%) was spread throughout the region, while its one-step microsatellite neighbor, the modal haplotype of the Galilee sample (approximately 8%), was mainly restricted to the north. Geographic substructuring within the Arabs was observed in the highlands of Samaria and Judea. Y chromosome variation in the I&P Arabs was compared to that of Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews, and to that of North Welsh individuals. At the haplogroup level, defined by the binary polymorphisms only, the Y chromosome distribution in Arabs and Jews was similar but not identical. At the haplotype level, determined by both binary and microsatellite markers, a more detailed pattern was observed. Single-step microsatellite networks of Arab and Jewish haplotypes revealed a common pool for a large portion of Y chromosomes, suggesting a relatively recent common ancestry. The two modal haplotypes in the I&P Arabs were closely related to the most frequent haplotype of Jews (the Cohen modal haplotype). However, the I&P Arab clade that includes the two Arab modal haplotypes (and makes up 32% of Arab chromosomes) is found at only very low frequency among Jews, reflecting divergence and/or admixture from other populations.
    Human Genetics 12/2000; 107(6):630-41. · 4.63 Impact Factor
  • M Faerman, R Jankauskas
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    ABSTRACT: Skeletal remains of two individuals, showing lesions suggestive of bone tuberculosis, from the archaeological sites of Marvele and Sukioniai in Lithuania were analyzed at the DNA level. The diagnosis of bone tuberculosis was confirmed in the remains from Marvele by amplifiying a 245-bp fragment of a repetitive insertion element-like sequence (IS 6110) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA. This is direct evidence for the presence of tuberculosis in Lithuania at the beginning of the first millennium AD. The individual from Sukioniai was found to be tuberculosis-negative. No PCR product was obtained for the 245-bp target sequence or for a smaller 123-bp DNA fragment specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, amplifiable ancient DNA appeared to be present in the examined specimen as was shown by the results of the DNA-based sex identification, which indicated, consistent with the bone morphology, a male individual.
    Anthropologischer Anzeiger 04/2000; 58(1):57-62. · 0.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The potential and reliability of DNA analysis for the identification of human remains are demonstrated by the study of a recent bone sample, which represented a documented case of sickle cell anemia. beta-globin gene sequences obtained from the specimen revealed homozygosity for the sickle cell mutation, proving the authenticity of the retrieved residual DNA. Further investigation of mitochondrial and Y chromosome DNA polymorphic markers indicated that this sample came from a male of maternal West African (possibly Yoruban) and paternal Bantu lineages. The medical record, which became available after the DNA analyses had been completed, revealed that it belonged to a Jamaican black male. These findings are consistent with this individual being a descendent of Africans brought to Jamaica during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. This study exemplifies how a "reverse population genetics" approach can be applied to reconstruct a genetic profile from a bone specimen of an unknown individual.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 03/2000; 111(2):153-63. · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infanticide has since time immemorial been an accepted practice for disposing of unwanted infants. Archaeological evidence for infanticide was obtained in Ashkelon, where skeletal remains of some 100 neonates were discovered in a sewer, beneath a Roman bathhouse, which might have also served as a brothel. Written sources indicate that in ancient Roman society infanticide, especially of females, was commonly practised, but that females were occasionally saved and reared as courtesans. We performed DNA-based sex identification of the infant remains. Out of 43 left femurs tested 19 specimens provided results: 14 were found to be males and 5 females. The high frequency of males suggests selective preservation of females and that the infants may have been offspring of courtesans, serving in the bathhouse, supporting its use as a brothel.
    Journal of Archaeological Science. 01/1998;
  • Nature 02/1997; 385(6613):212-3. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sex identification of archaeological human remains is essential for the exploration of gender differences in past populations. Traditional morphometric analyses fail to identify the gender of incomplete skeletal remains and that of immature individuals. In the present work, we have established a sensitive and reliable method, based on amplification of the single-copy amelogenin-encoding gene (AMG). The Y allele carries a small deletion in the first intron, facilitating the design of distinct X- and Y-specific polymerase chain reactions. Amplification with three primers, two of which are allele-specific, allows unambiguous identification of both X and Y chromosome signals in a single reaction, providing an internal control. For added confidence, the reaction may be performed in separate tubes for each allele. Using this method, the sex was determined from the skeletal remains of 18 individuals, including young children, out of 22 examined from periods ranging from 200 to around 8000 years ago. The state of skeletal preservation ranged from poor to good. Cortical and cranial bones, as well as teeth, were found to provide sufficiently preserved DNA. The success of retrieval of amplifiable DNA was not related either to the period or to the burial site. On the other hand, the method of DNA purification was critical. In our hands, direct DNA purification by Chelex from minute samples of bone/tooth powder gave the best results. This study demonstrates the applicability of the method for gender determination in skeletal remains from different periods.
    Gene 01/1996; · 2.20 Impact Factor
  • D Filon, M Faerman, P Smith, A Oppenheim
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    ABSTRACT: beta-Thalassaemia is manifested by severe anaemia and extensive bone pathology. Similar pathology may also result from other forms of anaemia. To clarify the precise cause, we performed DNA analyses on archaeological remains of a child with severe bone pathology. We found homozygosity for frameshift in codon 8 of beta-globin, causing a beta-null phenotype. Paradoxically, the child died when eight years old, whereas such patients are transfusion dependent from early infancy. An infrequent polymorphic marker in the child's DNA, and information from present-day patients, indicated that amelioration of the clinical condition was due to elevated fetal haemoglobin production. Thus this analysis provided not only precise diagnosis of a genetic disease but also allowed clarification of the molecular mechanism underlying the clinical presentation.
    Nature Genetics 05/1995; 9(4):365-8. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mandible of the infant found in Mousterian context in the Barakai Cave, Western Caucasus, displays a suite of distinctively Neanderthal characteristics, expressed in the size and shape of the mandible and teeth, absence of chin and taurodontic teeth with extremely thin enamel. The stage of dental development suggests an age of 3 years relative to standards for modern children. When compared to Neanderthal mandibles of children of similar dental age the Barakai mandible is relatively large and robust.
    Journal of Human Evolution 11/1994; 27(5):405–415. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2006 a cast-iron coffin was discovered in an unmarked burial plot in Lexington, Missouri. A multifaceted investigation was conducted to provide historical documentation and possible identification of the individual. The coffin is an early Fisk Patent Metallic Burial Case. Osteological analyses indicate that the skeletal remains belong to a 20 to 30year old white female who consistently ate an omnivorous diet with significant amounts of C4 plants or seafood. Rib morphology and her burial garments suggest she frequently wore restrictive clothing. No gross skeletal pathological lesions or trauma were observed except for a patch of reactive bone and an atypical pattern of bone remodeling on the visceral surface of the sixth rib. Subsequent bacterial DNA analysis of the ribs and sternum indicate the presence of tuberculosis infection. Although not conclusive, multiple lines of evidence are consistent with the skeletal remains representing Elizabeth (Triplett) Stewart who died in 1854 of pulmonary tuberculosis. This multidisciplinary research significantly contributes to the local history of Lexington, Missouri and provides a likely identification of the deceased individual for the Stewart Family. KeywordsHistoric archaeology-Stable isotope-Tuberculosis-Corset-Fisk coffin-Paleopathology
    Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 2(4):283-305.
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    ABSTRACT: The making of ritual shrunken heads, or tsantsas, was a common practice among the Jivaro-Shuar tribes of Ecuador and Peru during the post-Columbian period. The raising interest in the tsantsas in the late nineteenth through the twentieth century caused an increase in manufacturing of forged shrunken heads for profit. In the current study, we examined the authenticity and possible cultural provenance of the shrunken head displayed at the “Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv” using macro- and microscopic criteria together with DNA analyses. DNA analyses have revealed that the shrunken head represents a human male individual with a genetic profile compatible with an African ancestry and resembling that of modern South American populations. KeywordsShrunken Head–Authenticity evaluation–Ancient DNA–Short tandem repeats–Mitochondrial DNA–Sex identification
    Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences 3(2):223-228.