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Dan Rhoads

Having earned both a PhD and an MBA, Dan is uniquely qualified to understand the medical and financial needs in the insurance industry. He is a successful consultant, connecting clients with the financial products most suited to their needs. He specializes in private health insurance, private life insurance, dental, vision, Medicare supplement, indexed annuities, and international health insurance.

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Articles by Dan Rhoads

Science as Progress, and More on the Philosophy of Science

By Dan Rhoads | November 18, 2008

Following up on my recent post about The Nature of Scientific Observation, I left two-thirds of Chalmers’ book What is This Thing Called Science untouched, including discussions on Bayes’ theorem and the New Experimentalism.

Switching Disciplines

Switching Disciplines

By Dan Rhoads | June 11, 2008

In evaluating my own job prospects in a difficult job market and limited by personal circumstances that confine me to a very small region, I have been forced to widen my job search to related disciplines. There just isn’t a bounty of jobs in cell and molecular biology out there for young researchers. As a…

How I Chose a Grad School

How I Chose a Grad School

By Dan Rhoads | May 26, 2008

A reader recently asked for an explanation “about choosing grad schools, taking the GREs, visiting campuses, speaking to potential advisors, and how you guys decided on where to go.” For me, to be honest, I think that I was astoundingly naive in my decision-making for where to go for graduate school.

Post-Modernism versus Science

Post-Modernism versus Science

By Dan Rhoads | May 13, 2008

The methods of science aren’t foolproof, but they are indefinitely perfectible. Just as important: there is a tradition of criticism that enforces improvement whenever and wherever flaws are discovered.

Enduring Grant Writing Edits

Enduring Grant Writing Edits

By Dan Rhoads | May 1, 2008

Staying in science – getting funding and getting peer reviewed – is tough. That’s one of my main gripes with creationist simpletons who imply that scientists are uncritical of their peers, and that criticism is directed solely at those who refuse to take their claims at face value. They have no clue whatsoever what they’re…

Management Skills in Science

Management Skills in Science

By Dan Rhoads | April 1, 2008

Amid growing recognition that a successful scientific career requires skills beyond scientific acumen, institutions are racing to provide management training for newly minted principal investigators. Young scientists spend years conducting complicated experiments and crunching data, but when they are finally given the keys to their own lab, they suddenly face tasks they were never trained…

Why Have Journal Club?

By Dan Rhoads | March 6, 2008

Relating to my recent comments on seminars, a beginning grad student or undergrad researcher might wonder why journal club is such a good thing. Or you might not be wondering, since the benefits are more or less the same: digesting, discussing and analyzing research findings. But whether or not you realize the benefits of journal…

Top 5 Books from Experimental Biology

Top 5 Books from Experimental Biology

By Dan Rhoads | February 27, 2008

I just got done reading Ernst Mayr’s The Growth of Biological Thought, which is on the history and philosophy of biology, from Aristotle to ~1980 (written in 1982). Of particular interest to me was the section on the Modern Synthesis, where the views on evolution of the geneticists and other experimental biologists were reconciled with…

Stop and Enjoy the Seminars

By Dan Rhoads | February 25, 2008

Continuing in the same frame of mind as my last post, What Comes After Grad School, I was thinking about something that Alex said: It reminds me of a bit of advice given to a fellow postdoc by Dr. Richard Hynes – try to attend every seminar. I would also add that in my comparatively…

Zebrafish: Making Development Transparent

Zebrafish: Making Development Transparent

By Dan Rhoads | February 19, 2008

With the recent development of transparent Zebrafish, allowing scientists to directly view its internal organs, and observe processes like tumor metastasis and blood production after bone-marrow transplant, it seems appropriate to describe Zebrafish as a model organism.

Worms: Models of Development

Worms: Models of Development

By Dan Rhoads | January 28, 2008

Continuing with the recent theme on model organisms, there is the nematode (roundworm) Caenorhabditis elegans. This organisms is particularly useful owing to the fact that it has very defined development patterns involving fixed numbers of cells, and it can be rapidly assayed for abnormalities. Further, strains are cheap to breed and can be frozen. When…

Xenopus as a Model for Early Development

Xenopus as a Model for Early Development

By Dan Rhoads | January 24, 2008

Another popular model organism is the African Clawed Frog, Xenopus laevis, which is extremely useful for studying development and cellular physiology, owing to its particularly large and easy manipulable oocytes and embryo.

Dictyostelium as a Model

Dictyostelium as a Model

By Dan Rhoads | January 23, 2008

As noted in the previous post on Model Organisms, Dictyostelium discoideum is a popular model for studying fundamental aspects of cell-cell communication and chemotaxis. This is a soil-living social amoeba grows as separate, independent cells that interact to form multicellular structures when challenged by adverse conditions such as starvation. Up to 100,000 cells signal each…

Model Organisms in Biomedical Research

Model Organisms in Biomedical Research

By Dan Rhoads | January 22, 2008

The term “model organism” is often used in research, to describe species that are extensively studied to understand particular biological phenomena. We say “model,” because there is usually the expectation that discoveries made in the organism model will be representative of related taxonomic groups. In particular, model organisms are widely used to explore potential causes…

Keeping up on the journals

By Dan Rhoads | December 14, 2007

As scientists, we have to keep up with new research coming out and follow the journals. We all have our preferred way of doing so though. Sporadic searches on Pubmed are one way, or weekly email updates on specific search terms (also offered by Pubmed) are another. Alternatively, there’s Hubmed for RSS of Pubmed updates,…

Please, don't take Bitesize Bio "on Faith"

Please, don’t take Bitesize Bio “on Faith”

By Dan Rhoads | November 28, 2007

Science is an endlessly fascinating, challenging, and intellectually-satisfying endeavor. So it saddens me any time that I see someone mistakingly make claims about taking science on faith. This isn’t the forum for taking on religion – if you want that, more of my thoughts on that can be found at Migrations. I have one request…

What to Look for in a Good Mentor

What to Look for in a Good Mentor

By Dan Rhoads | November 13, 2007

For every half-way decent mentor or adviser that an aspiring scientist comes across, it sometimes seems as though there is another lurking, who is simply a jerk*. Let’s face it – scientists aren’t consistently “people-persons.” Maybe they had bad mentors, and inadvertently end up passing on the karma. Or maybe science just attracts a higher-than-average…

Science Writing: Selling Your Research

By Dan Rhoads | November 8, 2007

Browsing around on the Nature Network blogs, I came across one interesting discussion from a couple weeks ago that few researchers actually spend much time thinking about (I think). Martin asked, “I was wondering how much, if at all, the quality of the writing of a submitted paper is considered in the peer review process?”…

A picture of a cell to help depecit the history of cell biology

History of Cell Biology

By Dan Rhoads | November 5, 2007

The cell theory, or cell doctrine, states that all organisms are composed of similar units of organization, called cells. The concept was formally articulated in 1839 by Schleiden & Schwann and has remained as the foundation of modern biology. The idea predates other great paradigms of biology including Darwin’s theory of evolution (1859), Mendel’s laws…

Fluorescent Neurons Over the Brainbow

Fluorescent Neurons Over the Brainbow

By Dan Rhoads | November 2, 2007

Site-specific recombinases have, for the past 20 years, been one of the most powerful tools in studying the functions of all sorts of genes. Most widely used as the Cre/lox-based system for inserting or deleting genes in mice, transgenic analyses have told us volumes about animal development1. For instance, mouse genetic knockouts are routinely the…

Ubiquitination Isn't Just for Recycling Anymore

Ubiquitination Isn’t Just for Recycling Anymore

By Dan Rhoads | November 1, 2007

Ubiquitin is a small protein, which can be attached to other cellular proteins – a post-translational modification called ubiquitination. Discoveries in the ’80s illuminated ubiquitin as a label for degradation and recycling of the modified protein. Recent studies however, are suggesting more nuanced roles for ubiquitin in signal transduction and cellular function.

Cells – This Side Up

By Dan Rhoads | October 31, 2007

Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of migration of any kind is, how do you know which way to point yourself? Heck, this isn’t just about migration, it’s about how something is oriented in its immediate environment. For orientation, there’s magnetic North, gravity, or any conceivable cue that you might choose to face towards. How do…

Arthur Kornberg, Biochemist

Arthur Kornberg, Biochemist

By Dan Rhoads | October 30, 2007

In memorandum of one of the pioneers of molecular biology, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine for the discovery of DNA polymerase. What molecular biology blog would this be if we didn’t honor his memory? Larry Moran presents a fine eulogy, as does the NYTimes: Dr. Arthur Kornberg, a biochemist whose Nobel Prize-winning…

Open Access to Science

Open Access to Science

By Dan Rhoads | October 25, 2007

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) defines the issue of Open Access Publication as: An Open Access Publication[1] is one that meets the following two conditions: 1. The author(s) and copyright holder(s) grant(s) to all users a free, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual right of access to, and a license to copy, use, distribute, transmit and display…

History of Molecular Biology

History of Molecular Biology

By Dan Rhoads | October 24, 2007

As a freshman biology major in undergrad, I was introduced to molecular biology with the following description: Molecular biology represents the intersection of genetics, biochemistry and cell biology. Some people, it turns out, add microbiology and virology into the mix. So molecular biology is often used as a catch-all, to describe a wide breadth of…

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