B.Sc

A Bachelor of Science (Latin Baccalaureus Scientiae, B.S., BS, B.Sc., or BSc; or, less commonly, S.B., SB, or Sc.B., from the equivalent Latin Scientiae Baccalaureus[1]) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years.

Whether a student of a particular subject is awarded a Bachelor of Science degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree can vary between universities. For example, an economics degree may be given as a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) by one university but as a B.Sc. by another, and some universities offer the choice of either.[2] Some liberal arts colleges in the United States offer only the BA, even in the natural sciences,[3] while some universities offer only the BS even in non-science fields.[4] Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service awards Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degrees to all of its undergraduates, although many major in humanities-oriented fields such as international history and culture and politics. The London School of Economics offers B.Sc. degrees in practically all subject areas, even those normally associated with arts degrees, while the Oxbridge universities almost exclusively award arts qualifications. In both instances, there are historical and traditional reasons. Northwestern University’s School of Communication grants B.Sc. degrees in all of its programs of study, including theater, dance, and radio/television/film. University of California, Berkeley grants B.S. degree in Environmental Economics and Policy in College of Natural Resources (CNR), and B.A. degree in Environmental Economics and Policy in College of Letters and Science (L&S).

The first university to admit a student to the degree of Bachelor of Science was the University of London in 1860. Prior to this, science subjects were included in the B.A. bracket, notably in the cases of mathematics, physics, physiology and botany

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B.Sc. (honours) Human Biology at AIIMS (New Delhi, India) was started in 1980 with a goal to bridge the gap between research performed at molecular/cellular level in vitro or in lower animal models and clinical research, creating a pool of scientists with a greater understanding of human physiology and tools to incorporate the big picture while still taking a reductionist approach to scientific research. As such, it provided a stepping stone for advanced career in research and allied fields. Candidates for the maximum of 25 open seats were selected via a nationwide entrance exam.

Origin

Prof. Prakash Chandra (b. 1952 – d.2006), who was Dean at AIIMS from 1979 to 1984, undertook the task of revising the undergraduate curriculum and initiated the B.Sc. (Hons.) courses in Nursing and in Human Biology. [11] Among the founders of Human Biology program was Dr. B. S. Narang, a well-renowned educator at that time, whose contributions are now recognized as Dr. B.S. Narang Memorial Prize awarded to the Best Undergraduate in Biochemistry at AIIMS.[12]

Coursework

FIRST PHASE: During the first phase, students were exposed to the basic medical sciences: Human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. This phase was run together with first year M.B.B.S. medical students who also followed the same curriculum.

  • Human Anatomy: Gross cadaver (cadaver dissections, osteology and kinesiology), microanatomy of all systems of the body, neuroanatomy (of brain and spinal cord, its connections and function with demonstration of cut brain sections), embryology (development of human embryo normal and abnormal, study of various stages of microscopic and gross level) and genetics.
  • Physiology: A complete review of the functional aspects of human physiology, neurophysiology, respiratory physiology, GIT, the special senses, skeletal and smooth muscles, cardiovascular system, excretory and reproductive systems.[13]
  • Biochemistry: An introduction to biochemistry and allied fields at the molecular, cellular and system level. Biomolecules, enzymology, metabolism and specialization in the tissues, immunology, biochemical genetics.

SECOND PHASE: The Phase II was designed to provide an as broad an exposure scientific fundamentals and to various facets of research areas and basic concepts as possible. Each chosen subject matter was spread over three-to-five weeks and included lectures, tutorials (discussion sessions) and labs.

  • Biomathematics: Differentiation and integration, partial differentiation equations, special functions, integral transforms.
  • Biostatistics: measures of location and dispersion, sampling, probability, statistical distribution, tests of significance, correlation and regression, analysis of variance.
  • Chemical basis of biology: Concept in organic and physical chemistry, nature of bonds, non-bonded interactions, quantum chemistry.
  • Physical basis of biology: laws of inertia, gravitation, relativity, electrodynamics, quantum physics.
  • Biochemical basis of biology: Organization of genes, viruses and plasmids, biochemical evolution, the organization of DNA, replication, the code, molecular basis of differentiation and morphogenesis, molecular basis of cancer.
  • Biophysical basis of biology: Principles of structure and function of macromolecules, nucleic acids and proteins, small molecules, organization of macromolecular assemblies, lipids and membranes, phase diagrams, structure activity relationships in drugs, computer modeling.
  • Principles of genetics and evolution: Heredity and variation, multifactorial inheritance, molecular genetics, chromosomal disorders.
  • Pharmacology, Microbiology, and Pathology (concepts)
  • Instrumentation and techniques in experimental biology: Principles of animal care, anesthetic agents, surgical skills, perfusion techniques, experimental design, bioassay techniques.
  • Ecology and environmental biology: types of ecosystem adaptation to the environment, physiological changes in response to hypo/hyperthermia in humans.
  • Reproductive biology and experimental endocrinology: the endocrinology of reproduction, human contraceptives, the animal models for studying hormonal control of reproduction.
  • Bioenergetics and Biocybernetics: Basic thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, far from equilibrium thermodynamics, introduction to biocybernetics.
  • Techniques in experimental biochemistry: Colorimetry, spectrophotometry, spectrofluorometry, pH determination, gel electrophoresis, chromatography.

THIRD PHASE: The third year was devoted to specialization in a chosen field of anatomy, biochemistry, biophysics, physiology or pharmacology. It involved in-depth instruction in the chosen fields, reviews of relevant research literature, seminars and term papers.