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The trans fat ban, a voice test for Parkinson’s and how politics has now ‘infected science’

By Nigel Praities

Our roundup of news headlines on Friday 16 April.

In the midst of election fever, the Guardian reports a good old-fashioned ' how safe is your food?' story. The paper covers an article in the BMJ that calls for trans fats to be banned in food. The fats - used in the manufacture of deep-fried food, margarine and baked goods such as cakes and biscuits - are a big risk factor for heart disease, according to the paper.

Even a tiny reduction in the amount of food energy they represent in an average person's diet would have huge health benefits, two doctors from Harvard Medical School claim.

The Times explains how politics is ‘contaminating science' after a ban was brought in to outlaw the drug mephedrone today. Quoting an editorial in the Lancet, the newspaper claims ministers pressured their own scientific advisory body to produce the necessary evidence to act.

The Telegraph covers research that raises the possibility of screening peoples voices for signs of Parkinsons disease. Researchers in Israel and America have found a way of measuring speech patterns, inaudible to the human ear, to test if apparently healthy people have the condition.

The cloud of volcanic ash malingering above the British Isles also appears in the health pages of the nationals today. The Telegraph reports it has ‘the potential to kill thousands' given the right weather conditions, but is trapped at too high an altitude to cause ill health here (no real story here, then).

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day...

Daily Digest