Beyond “Spirit Bears”

May 10, 2019. By Grant Keddie Introduction In 2006, the “Spirit bear” was adopted as the provincial mammal of British Columbia. The term “Spirit Bear” has to a large extent been overused as a media hype word. It has often been misinterpreted as a direct aboriginal name of a unique type or species of bear. The circular movement of information between indigenous peoples and popular writers, have created some modern myths such as comments that white bears, also referred to as “ghost bears”, were not traditionally hunted. Today they are referred to as a subspecies of black bear called Ursus americanus kermodei. The environmental movement of the western world has over-simplified the portrayal of all white coloured black bears by … Continue reading “Beyond “Spirit Bears””

Genetics and Neanderthal

By Grant Keddie Genetics, diseases, modern humans and our close relatives. Our Developing Nervous system One of the keys to understanding modern diseases is through their genetic evolution and how that can contribute to where we focus research to eliminate them.  One of the latest fascinating discoveries may be relevant to the study of modern common neurological diseases such as parkinson’s, dementia, seizures, strokes and migraine headaches.   There is a new field of study that involves a combination of stem cell biology, neuroscience and paleogenomics.  This involves the ability to apply the comparative approach of modern human genetics to our closest extinct relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans, using brain organoids. A brain organoid is an artificially grown miniature organ resembling … Continue reading “Genetics and Neanderthal”