Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
South Korea launches first civilian rocket amid tensions with North
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea launched its first space rocket carrying a science satellite on Wednesday amid heightened regional tensions, caused in part, by North Korea's successful launch of its own rocket last month. It was South Korea's third attempt to launch a civilian rocket to send a satellite in orbit in the past four years and came after two previous launches were aborted at the eleventh hour last year due to technical glitches.
Scientists find genetic clue to severe flu among Chinese
LONDON (Reuters) - British and Chinese scientists have found a genetic variant which explains why Chinese populations may be more vulnerable to the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. The discovery of the variant could help doctors find those people at high risk of severe flu and prioritize them for treatment, researchers said.
Iran launches monkey into space, showing missile progress
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran said on Monday it had launched a live monkey into space, seeking to show off missile systems that have alarmed the West because the technology could potentially be used to deliver a nuclear warhead. The Defense Ministry announced the launch as world powers sought to agree a date and venue with Iran for resuming talks to resolve a standoff with the West over Tehran's contested nuclear program before it degenerates into a new Middle East war.