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X-ray reveals hidden artwork behind Picasso painting

Pablo Picasso seated at a table with many of his paintings. Photo: Gjon Mili/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Researchers using x-ray technology discovered hidden artwork beneath one of Pablo Picasso's Blue Period paintings, National Geographic reports. The 1902 painting La Misereuse Accroupie (The Crouching Beggar) analyzed by a team of researchers from U.S. and Canada revealed Picasso painted over a landscape portrait by an unknown artist.

Flashback: In 1957, Picasso said that x-ray technology might be used to reveal a hidden work in one of his earliest paintings.

The technique, called x-ray fluorescent spectroscopy, showed Picasso rotated the artwork of a Barcelona painter 90 degrees to be able to use the lines of the landscape form to create his final composition.

Why it matters: "[W]e can get into the mind of the artist and better understand the creative process," said Marc Walton, a research professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University.

One curious finding the researchers discovered is "the unexpected presence of an awkwardly positioned hand holding a disc," NatGeo writes. "We can see that he was wiping off the paint and working to position the fingers,” Walton, who helped develop the x-ray tool, told NatGeo.

Go deeper: Lost Artwork Found Under Famous Picasso Painting

What's next for cancer immunotherapies

A researcher holds a plate used to grow T cells.
Photo: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

Cancer immunotherapies that trigger a person's own immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells have logged some success in certain patients and with certain types of cancers. "But overall that is a minority of cancer patients," says Antoni Ribas from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Now, researchers are looking to leverage their understanding of what's working and what's not in patients receiving this class of drugs. (Science published a special section about cancer immunotherapy Thursday.)

The challenge: These are new avenues for research but they also spur serious concerns that must be addressed: unwanted and sometimes deadly side effects, unexplained lack of response by some cancers, and questions arising from combining multiple therapies and finding the optimal timing — which can make or break treatment.

The worst flu season in eight years

Note: Activity levels are based on outpatient visits in a state compared to the average number of visits that occur during weeks with little or no flu virus circulation; Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

This year's flu season caught many experts off guard with both its sustained prevalence and its virulence. At its peak, there was a higher level of flu-like illnesses reported than any other year during the past eight years. Watch in the visual as it hits its peak around Week 18.

Why it matters: Public health officials try to capture this data when developing the next year's vaccines. And, of course, they want to find better ways to prevent severe flu seasons. There's a "Strategic Plan" to develop a universal vaccine to protect against a wider range of influenza viruses, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.