Nearly all of us can claim some measure of Irish heritage, and not only on St. Paddy’s Day. Recall our surprise when President Obama celebrated his Irish roots in a trip to the Emerald Isle back in May?

Well, it turns out that Irish immigrants have covered the entire globe, including its northern poles. A fascinating new study of polar bear genetics indicates that the great bears of the north are descended from the same great-grandmother, an Irish brown bear.

The research is detailed in the most recent issue of Current Biology and reported this week by [Science News](’_Irish_ancestry/___