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Scientists have detected a signal from what may be the universe’s first stars, which started shining about 180 million years after the Big Bang, reports Space.com. The signal was so strong, scientists think it may have been caused by early star material interacting with dark matter.

Why it matters: "It’s quite possible that this is worth two Nobel Prizes,” if the interpretation is correct, theoretical astrophysicist Avi Loeb of Harvard University told Science News. One prize for finding cosmic dawn, and another because of the implications for understanding dark matter.

Prior to the revelation, the oldest stars ever seen date to about 400 million years after the Big Bang. Judd Bowman, the lead author of the study and an astronomer at Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration, told Space.com that the detected signals will allow scientists to better understand about when and how stars were formed in the earlier times.

Yes, but: "[F]or the discovery to be rock-solid, another research group needs to spot the signal as well," writes Space.com's Mike Wall.

Go deeper

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as rate of recovery slows

Axios Visuals. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Highlights from Biden and Harris' first joint interview since the election

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

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