" As a scientist, he wondered, could such a claim be tested?Being a nephrologist and a top-level researcher at the University of Toronto and the Rambam-Technion Medical Center in Haifa, he was involved in the breakthroughs in molecular genetics which are revolutionizing medicine and the study of the life-sciences.The finding of a common set of genetic markers in both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Cohanim worldwide clearly indicates an origin pre-dating the separate development of the two communities around 1000 CE.
The results of the analysis of the Y chromosome markers of the Cohanim and non-Cohanim were indeed significant.
The Torah (the first five books of the Bible) describes the anointing of Aaron, the brother of Moses, as the first High Priest (Cohen Gadol).
Jewish tradition, based on the Torah, is that all Cohanim are direct descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses.
Professor Hammer was recently in Israel for the Jewish Genome Conference.
He confirmed that his findings are consistent -- over 80 percent of self-identified Cohanim have a common set of markers. Calculations based on the high rate of genetic similarity of today's Cohanim resulted in the highest "paternity-certainty" rate ever recorded in population genetics studies -- a scientific testimony to family faithfulness. David Goldstein of Oxford University: "For more than 90 percent of the Cohens to share the same genetic markers after such a period of time is a testament to the devotion of the wives of the Cohens over the years.