Why some vaccinated athletes are testing positive for the coronavirus, how a genealogy database helped crack a 14-year-old cold case, and more in our staff picks for the long weekend.
Ben Palmer's reads
The four-day work week is getting more popular. Calls for the Americans workforce to normalize a four-day work week have grown in recent years, and now some companies are looking to implement the practice, like Kickstarter, who will launch a four-day work week next year. Writing for Quartz, Lila MacLellan examines the argument for the four-day work week and how it's grown in popularity.
Why are some vaccinated athletes testing positive for the coronavirus? A number of professional athletes—including members of the New York Yankees, NBA star Chris Paul, and professional golfer Jon Rahm—appear to have contracted the coronavirus despite being vaccinated. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Louise Radnofsky and Rachel Bachman examine why these so-called "breakthrough infections" appear to be popping up for professional athletes—and how athletes are trying to plan their vaccinations around key competitions.
Vivian Le's reads
Congress bets on harm reduction—not abstinence—to address substance misuse. More than 90,000 overdose deaths occurred between November 2019 and November 2020—a nearly 30% increase compared to the previous 12 months. To tackle this issue, Congress has allocated $30 million towards evidence-based harm reduction services, a controversial approach to drug policy that aims to reduce a person's risk of dying or contracting infectious diseases instead of encouraging abstinence. Writing for the New York Times, Abby Goodnough examines harm reduction programs, including one in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the struggles that people with substance use disorder have faced during the pandemic.
Law enforcement turns to genealogy databases to reinvestigate cold cases. In recent years, genetic profiles from genealogy websites, such as Ancestry and GED Match, have helped law enforcement solve several previously cold cases, including murders and sexual assault. Writing for the Washington Post, Katie Shepherd explains how police in Tampa were able to identify a suspect in a 14-year-old rape case using DNA information from two public genealogy databases.