Latest News from: University of Vienna

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Newswise: Old genes keep sea anemones forever young
Released: 21-Sep-2022 3:05 AM EDT
Old genes keep sea anemones forever young
University of Vienna

The genetic fingerprint of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis shows that the members of this evolutionarily very old animal phylum use the same gene cascades for the differentiation of neuronal cell types as more complex organisms. These genes are also responsible for the balance of all cells in the organism throughout the anemone’s life. The results were published by a team of developmental biologists led by Ulrich Technau of the University of Vienna in "Cell Reports".

Newswise: Circalunar clocks: using the right light
Released: 9-Sep-2022 5:05 AM EDT
Circalunar clocks: using the right light
University of Vienna

How animals are able to interpret natural light sources to adjust their physiology and behaviour is poorly understood. The labs of Kristin Tessmar-Raible (Max Perutz Labs Vienna, Alfred Wegener Institut, University of Oldenburg) and Eva Wolf (Johannes Gutenberg University and Institute of Molecular Biology Mainz) have now revealed that a molecule called L-cryptochrome (L-Cry) has the biochemical properties to dis-criminate between different moon phases, as well as between sun- and moonlight.

Newswise: Bacteria provide immunity against giant viruses
29-Aug-2022 2:00 PM EDT
Bacteria provide immunity against giant viruses
University of Vienna

Amoebae receive surprising support in defense against viruses: The bacteria they are infected with prevent them from being destroyed by giant viruses. A research team led by microbiologist Matthias Horn from the Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science at the University of Vienna have investigated how a virus infection proceeds when the amoebae are simultaneously infected with chlamydia. The research team shows for the first time that intracellular bacteria known as symbionts protect their host against viruses. Amoebae are protists, i.e. single-celled microorganisms with a cell nucleus. Protists play a key role in food webs and ecosystem processes. Consequently, the results of the study suggest that the interaction between symbionts and viruses influence the flow of nutrients in ecosystems. The study is now published in the journal PNAS.

Newswise: Bound by Light
Released: 26-Aug-2022 5:05 AM EDT
Bound by Light
University of Vienna

A team of researchers at the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Duisburg-Essen have found a new mechanism that fundamentally alters the interaction between optically levitated nanoparticles. Their experiment demonstrates previously unattainable levels of control over the coupling in arrays of particles, thereby creating a new platform to study complex physical phenomena. The results are published in this week’s issue of Science.

Newswise: The Southern Arc and its lively genetic History
25-Aug-2022 1:00 PM EDT
The Southern Arc and its lively genetic History
University of Vienna

In a trio of papers, published simultaneously in the journal Science, Ron Pinhasi from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and Human Evolution and Archaeological Sciences (HEAS) at the University of Vienna and Songül Alpaslan-Roodenberg from the University of Vienna and Harvard University, Iosif Lazaridis and David Reich at Harvard University—together with 202 co-authors—report a massive effort of genome-wide sequencing from 727 distinct ancient individuals with which it was possible to test longstanding archaeological, genetic and linguistic hypotheses. They present a systematic picture of the interlinked histories of peoples across the Southern Arc Region from the origins of agriculture, to late medieval times.

Newswise: Asian Elephants Have a Nasal Pronunciation
Released: 23-Aug-2022 3:05 AM EDT
Asian Elephants Have a Nasal Pronunciation
University of Vienna

With the help of an acoustic camera that visualizes sound pressure, researchers from the University of Vienna investigated the calls of Asian elephants. The elephants emitted their low frequency “rumbles” mainly through their trunk or through their mouth and trunk simultaneously, and only seldomly through their mouth alone. This is the first study to conclusively demonstrate the combined oral and nasal call emission in a non-human animal. The study has recently been published in the journal “Animals”.

Newswise: Caterpillar-like bacteria crawling in our mouth
Released: 22-Aug-2022 6:00 AM EDT
Caterpillar-like bacteria crawling in our mouth
University of Vienna

Likely to survive in the oral cavity, bacteria evolved to divide along their longitudinal axis without parting from one another. A research team co-led by environmental cell biologist Silvia Bulgheresi from the University of Vienna and microbial geneticist Frédéric Veyrier from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) just published their new insights in Nature Communications. In their work, they de-scribed the division mode of these caterpillar-like bacteria and their evolution from a rod-shaped ancestor. They propose to establish Neisseriaceae oral bacteria as new model organisms that could help pinpoint new antimicrobial targets.

Released: 9-Aug-2022 4:05 AM EDT
Pimp my Spec: Upgrade for Magnetic Resonance Methods with a 1,000-fold Amplifier
University of Vienna

Researchers determine the structure and dynamics of proteins using NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectroscopy. Until now, however, much higher concentrations were necessary for in-vitro measurements of the biomolecules in solution than found in our body's cells. An NMR method enhanced by a very powerful amplifier, in combination with molecular dynamics simulation, now enables their detection and accurate characterization at physiological concentrations. This is reported by Dennis Kurzbach chemist at the University of Vienna and his colleagues in the journal "Science Advances". The team demonstrated their new method with the example of a protein that influences cell proliferation and thus also potential tumour growth.

Released: 3-Aug-2022 8:15 AM EDT
Nano-sponges with potential for rapid wastewater treatment
University of Vienna

Efficient adsorbents for industrial wastewater treatment are important to minimize potential environmental damage. In particular, organic dyes, as a significant group of industrial pollutants, are usually highly water soluble, non-degradable and many are toxic to carcinogenic. Changxia Li and Freddy Kleitz from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna together with colleagues now presented a new approach to design an innovative composite material, consisting of a nanoporous, ultrathin covalent organic framework (COF) anchored on graphene, that is highly efficient at filtering organic pollutants from water. The study was published in “Angewandte Chemie”.

Newswise: Progress in Bioanalytics: Production of RNA Chips Significantly Simplified
Released: 26-Jul-2022 6:05 AM EDT
Progress in Bioanalytics: Production of RNA Chips Significantly Simplified
University of Vienna

Biochips (microarrays) are modern analytical tools that allow thousands of individual detections to be performed simultaneously in a small amount of sample material. A team led by Mark Somoza from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna has now presented a new method in "Nature Communications". With this method, commercially available DNA chips can be quickly and easily converted into RNA chips, which are otherwise much more difficult to produce. Such RNA microarrays help to elucidate the still unknown functions of RNA molecules in cells - an important prerequisite for advancing the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Released: 20-Jul-2022 5:05 AM EDT
Higher Voice Pitch Lets Female Faces Appear Younger
University of Vienna

Psychologists and biologists around Christina Krumpholz and Helmut Leder from the University of Vienna investigated whether voice pitch can influence how female faces are evaluated. Their conclusion: a higher voice does indeed influence how the corresponding face is evaluated. However, this does not apply to all ratings. Faces with a higher voice were rated as younger, but other assumptions that the faces are also rated as more attractive, more feminine or healthier do not apply. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Released: 24-Jun-2022 8:05 AM EDT
"Hot" Graphene Reveals Migration of Carbon Atoms
University of Vienna

The migration of carbon atoms on the surface of the nanomaterial graphene was recently measured for the first time. Although the atoms move too swiftly to be directly observed with an electron microscope, their effect on the stability of the material can now be determined indirectly while the material is heated on a microscopic hot plate. The study by researchers at the Faculty of Physics of the University of Vienna was published in the journal Carbon.

Newswise: 1.700-year-old Korean genomes show genetic heterogeneity in Three Kingdoms period Gaya
21-Jun-2022 10:00 AM EDT
1.700-year-old Korean genomes show genetic heterogeneity in Three Kingdoms period Gaya
University of Vienna

An international team led by The University of Vienna and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in collaboration with the National Museum of Korea has successfully sequenced and studied the whole genome of eight 1,700-year-old individuals dated to the Three Kingdoms period of Korea (approx. 57 BC-668 AD). The first published genomes from this period in Korea and bring key information for the understanding of Korean population history. The Team has been led by Pere Gelabert and Prof. Ron Pinhasi of the University of Vienna together with Prof. Jong Bhak and Asta Blazyte from the UNIST and Prof. Kidong Bae from the National Museum of Korea.

Newswise: Chemical Pollution Threatens Biodiversity
Released: 17-Jun-2022 7:05 AM EDT
Chemical Pollution Threatens Biodiversity
University of Vienna

Environmental chemical pollution threatens biodiversity. However, the complexity of this pollution remains insufficiently recognised by decision-makers - this is what international researchers led by Gabriel Sigmund from the University of Vienna and Ksenia Groh from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) argue in the most recent issue of “Science”. Their letter appears shortly before the international negotiations on the “post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”. These will take place from 21st of June in Nairobi (Kenya).

Newswise: Parasitic Worms Reveal New Insights Into the Evolution of Sex and Sex Chromosomes
Released: 15-Jun-2022 8:15 AM EDT
Parasitic Worms Reveal New Insights Into the Evolution of Sex and Sex Chromosomes
University of Vienna

Studying two highly divergent phyla of worms that contain numerous parasites that cause human and livestock diseases, the research group of Qi Zhou from the University of Vienna and Zhejiang University, sheds light on how sexual reproduction and subsequent great diversity of sex chromosomes might have evolved.

Released: 31-May-2022 6:05 AM EDT
Rendezvous at Night – How Moonlight Fine-Tunes Animal Reproduction
University of Vienna

Animals possess circadian clocks, or 24 h oscillators, to regulate daily behavior. These typically take their cues from the periodic change of sunlight and darkness. However, many animals are also exposed to moonlight, which reoccurs with ~25h periodicity.

Released: 31-May-2022 5:05 AM EDT
Too Much Self-Confidence Can Endanger Health
University of Vienna

Older people who overestimate their health go to the doctor less often. This can have serious consequences for their health, for example, when illnesses are detected too late.

Released: 20-May-2022 8:05 AM EDT
Mindfulness as a key to success in psychotherapy
University of Vienna

Mindfulness is the ability to focus one’s attention on the present moment and to approach the resulting impressions, thoughts, and feelings with curiosity, openness, and acceptance.

Newswise: Magnetic Resonance Makes the Invisible Visible
Released: 17-May-2022 6:05 AM EDT
Magnetic Resonance Makes the Invisible Visible
University of Vienna

A small group of researchers including Dennis Kurzbach from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna just published in "Nature Protocols” an advanced NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) method to monitor fast and complicated biomolecular events such as protein folding.

Released: 17-May-2022 6:05 AM EDT
Early Earth: Tungsten isotopes in seawater provide insights into the co-evolution of Earth's mantle and continents
University of Vienna

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, Andrea Mundl-Petermeier and Sebastian Viehmann of the Department of Lithospheric Research at the University of Vienna have demonstrated that a new geochemical archive - 182Tungsten in banded iron formations - can be used to simultaneously trace both the evolution of the Earth's mantle and continents throughout Earth’s history. This offers new opportunities to better understand the Precambrian Earth in the future.

Newswise: How Shark Teeth Can Decipher Evolutionary Processes
Released: 12-May-2022 4:05 AM EDT
How Shark Teeth Can Decipher Evolutionary Processes
University of Vienna

From embryo to turtle cracker: a team led by palaeobiologist Julia Türtscher from the University of Vienna studied the multiple changes in tooth shape in the tiger shark. The study, recently published in the Journal of Anatomy, is also central in drawing conclusions about extinct species from the myriad of preserved shark teeth in the field of palaeontology.

Newswise: Bolder marmoset monkeys learn faster than shy ones
Released: 9-May-2022 7:05 AM EDT
Bolder marmoset monkeys learn faster than shy ones
University of Vienna

Individual traits seem to drive our learning success: for instance, conscientious individuals often show higher academic performance. A group of cognitive and behavioural biologists from University of Vienna conducted personality assessments and a battery of learning tests with common marmosets and found that such a link, intertwined with family group membership, exists in these monkeys, too. The study results were recently published in the journal “Scientific Reports”.

Released: 5-May-2022 6:05 AM EDT
How our brain influences language change
University of Vienna

Our language is changing constantly. Researchers of the University of Vienna found that, over centuries, frequently occurring speech sound patterns get even more frequent. The reason for this development is that our brain can perceive, process and learn frequent, and thus prototypical sound patterns more easily than less frequent ones. The results of the study were published in the journal Cognitive Linguistics.

Newswise: Artificial neurons go quantum with photonic circuits
24-Mar-2022 7:00 AM EDT
Artificial neurons go quantum with photonic circuits
University of Vienna

In recent years, artificial intelligence has become ubiquitous, with applications such as speech interpretation, image recognition, medical diagnosis, and many more. At the same time, quantum technology has been proven capable of computational power well beyond the reach of even the world’s largest supercomputer. Physicists at the University of Vienna have now demonstrated a new device, called quantum memristor, which may allow to combine these two worlds, thus unlocking unprecedented capabilities. The experiment, carried out in collaboration with the National Research Council (CNR) and the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, has been realized on an integrated quantum processor operating on single photons. The work is published in the current issue of the journal “Nature Photonics”.

2-Feb-2022 10:35 AM EST
Animal genomes: Chromosomes almost unchanged for over 600 million years
University of Vienna

By comparing chromosomes of different animal groups scientists at the University of Vienna led by Oleg Simakov and at the University of California made an astonishing discovery: Every animal species has almost the same chromosomal units that appear over and over again - and this has been the case since the first animals emerged about 600 million years ago. Using new principles, human chromosomes can now also be dissected into these primordial "elements". The new study has just been published in the journal Science Advances.

Released: 27-Jan-2022 5:05 AM EST
Learning to enjoy cognitive effort
University of Vienna

People like to take the path of least resistance when it comes to cognitive effort – a common assumption in cognitive psychology. Researchers at the University of Vienna and the Technische Universität Dresden have now come to a different conclusion: once people receive a reward for their effort investment, they later choose challenging tasks even if they no longer receive a reward. The study is currently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

Newswise: Impossible material made possible inside a graphene sandwich
Released: 20-Jan-2022 5:05 AM EST
Impossible material made possible inside a graphene sandwich
University of Vienna

Atoms bind together by sharing electrons. The way this happens depends on the atom types but also on conditions such as temperature and pressure. In two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as graphene, atoms join along a plane to form structures just one atom thick, which leads to fascinating properties determined by quantum mechanics. Researchers at the University of Vienna in collaboration with the Universities of Tübingen, Antwerp and CY Cergy Paris, together with Danubia NanoTech, have produced a new 2D material made of copper and iodine atoms sandwiched between two graphene sheets. The results were published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Newswise: Within a dinosaur’s head: ankylosaur was sluggish and deaf
Released: 11-Jan-2022 4:05 AM EST
Within a dinosaur’s head: ankylosaur was sluggish and deaf
University of Vienna

German and Austrian scientists took a closer look at the braincase of a dinosaur from Austria. The group examined the fossil with a micro-CT and found surprising new details: it was sluggish and deaf. The respective study got recently published in the scientific journal scientific reports.

Newswise: Wandering celestial bodies provide a glimpse into the formation of stars and planets
22-Dec-2021 10:55 AM EST
Wandering celestial bodies provide a glimpse into the formation of stars and planets
University of Vienna

With observations of one of the closest star-forming regions to the sun a team of international astronomers discovered the largest population of free-floating planets. These celestial bodies do not revolve around a star and are very hard to find due to their very low brightness.

Newswise: New State of Matter: Crystalline and Flowing at the Same Time
9-Dec-2021 5:00 AM EST
New State of Matter: Crystalline and Flowing at the Same Time
University of Vienna

More than 20 years ago, researchers predicted that with sufficiently high density certain particles of matter would form a new state of matter that features the properties of both crystalline solids and flowing liquids. Scientists from Forschungszentrum Jülich, the University of Siegen, and the University of Vienna have now succeeded in creating this state in a laboratory. Their experimental concept opens up the possibility for further development and could pave the way for further discoveries in the world of complex states of matter.

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Released: 3-Dec-2021 9:00 AM EST
The role of bitter receptors in cancer
University of Vienna

Bitter taste receptors do not only support humans in tasting. They are also found on cancer cells. A team led by Veronika Somoza from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and the German Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich has investigated the role they play there. For this purpose, the scientists compiled and evaluated extensive scientific data. Their results suggest that bitter taste receptors should also be considered as additional targets for chemotherapeutic agents in the future and should be investigated in this regard. The systematic review recently appeared in the journal Cancers.

26-Nov-2021 4:00 AM EST
In quantum mechanics, not even time flows as you might expect it to
University of Vienna

A team of physicists at the Universities of Vienna, Bristol, the Balearic Islands and the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI-Vienna) has shown how quantum systems can simultaneously evolve along two opposite time arrows (forward and backward in time). The study has been published in the latest issue of Communications Physics.

Released: 11-Nov-2021 8:35 AM EST
Athletes with a pre-performance routine perform better
University of Vienna

Many great athletes have a routine they do right before they perform. But does this routine indeed help their performance? Anton Rupprecht and Ulrich Tran from the Faculty of Psychology and sport psychologist Peter Gröpel from the Department of Sport Science have now meta-analyzed data across different sports and skill levels.

Released: 5-Nov-2021 8:45 AM EDT
How to decode the meaning of melodies in animal vocalizations
University of Vienna

When listening closely, the melodies of human languages and animal vocalizations are very similar. However, it is not yet fully resolved if similar patterns in languages and animal vocalizations also have similar meanings. Researchers of the University of Vienna present a new method to decode the meaning of animal vocalizations: the comparison of their melodies with human languages.

Released: 3-Nov-2021 1:20 PM EDT
A new dimension in magnetism and superconductivity launched
University of Vienna

An international team of scientists from Austria and Germany has launched a new paradigm in magnetism and superconductivity, putting effects of curvature, topology, and 3D geometry into the spotlight of next-decade research. The results are published in Advanced Materials

Released: 3-Nov-2021 8:25 AM EDT
Profound ecological change in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea
University of Vienna

Assemblages of tropical non-indigenous species in the Eastern Mediterranean have biological traits that markedly differ from those of native biological communities. This was shown by an international team of scientists led by Jan Steger from the Department of Palaeontology at the University of Vienna.

Released: 29-Oct-2021 8:45 AM EDT
Why do humans possess a twisted birth canal?
University of Vienna

The relatively narrow human birth canal presumably evolved as a "compromise" between its abilities for parturition, support of the inner organs, and upright walking. But not only the size of the birth canal, also its complex, "twisted" shape is an evolutionary puzzle.

Released: 20-Oct-2021 8:40 AM EDT
How an enriched environment fires up our synapses
University of Vienna

Processing of sensory impressions and information depends very much on how the synapses in our brain work. A team around chemist Robert Ahrends from the University of Vienna and neuroscientist Michael R. Kreutz from Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg now showed how lipid and protein regulation impact brain’s processing of a beautiful and stimulating environment. The lipids located in the membranes of the synapses are central to signal transmission, the researchers report in “Cell Reports”.

Newswise: Break through the tumor’s protective shield
Released: 12-Oct-2021 8:45 AM EDT
Break through the tumor’s protective shield
University of Vienna

A team at the Department for Pharmaceutical Sciences developed a therapy concept that could stop tumor growth.The immune system protects the body from cancer. To protect healthy body cells from its own immune system, they have developed a protective shield: the protein CD47 is a so called "don’t eat me" signal, which tells the immune cells to stand back.

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Released: 29-Sep-2021 8:35 AM EDT
Molecular burdocks: peptides guide self-assembly on the micrometre scale
University of Vienna

Sometimes even small forces can make comparatively big things happen: In a study in "Angewandte Chemie", scientists from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna showed how short peptides can trigger the self-assembly of comparatively large nanoparticles into new structures on the micrometre scale.

Newswise: Synchrony through touch
Released: 28-Sep-2021 8:05 AM EDT
Synchrony through touch
University of Vienna

Touch is fundamental to interpersonal communication. Until recently, it was unclear how affectionate touch and physical contact affect the brain activity and heart rhythms of mothers and babies. Developmental psychologists Trinh Nguyen and Stefanie Höhl from the University of Vienna have investigated this question in a recent study.

Released: 16-Sep-2021 4:05 AM EDT
Good for groundwater – bad for crops? Plastic particles release pollutants in upper soil layers
University of Vienna

In agriculture, large quantities of nano- and microplastics end up in the soil through compost, sewage sludge and the use of mulching foils. The plastic particles always carry various pollutants with them. However, they do not transport them into the groundwater, as is often assumed. Environmental geoscientists led by Thilo Hofmann have now determined that the plastic particles release the pollutants in the upper soil layers: they do not generally contaminate the groundwater, but have a negative effect on soil microbes and crops. The study by the University of Vienna appears in Nature Communications Earth & Environment.

3-Sep-2021 9:00 AM EDT
Gut bacteria influence brain development
University of Vienna

Extremely premature infants are at a high risk for brain damage.

Newswise: Gut Bacteria Influence Brain Development
3-Sep-2021 5:05 AM EDT
Gut Bacteria Influence Brain Development
University of Vienna

Extremely premature infants are at a high risk for brain damage. Researchers at the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have now found possible targets for the early treatment of such damage outside the brain: Bacteria in the gut of premature infants may play a key role. The research team found that the overgrowth of the gastrointestinal tract with the bacterium Klebsiella is associated with an increased presence of certain immune cells and the development of neurological damage in premature babies. The study is now published in journal Cell Host & Microbe.

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2-Sep-2021 3:05 AM EDT
Researchers Find a Way to Check That Quantum Computers Return Accurate Answers
University of Vienna

Quantum computers become ever more powerful, but how can we be sure that the answers they return are accurate? A team of physicists from Vienna, Innsbruck, Oxford, and Singapore solves this problem by letting quantum computers check each other.

Released: 17-Aug-2021 8:30 AM EDT
How special are we?
University of Vienna

Nearby star-forming region yields clues to the formation of our solar systemA region of active star formation in the constellation Ophiuchus gives astronomers new insights into the conditions in which our solar system was born, showing how it may have become enriched with short-lived radioactive elements. Such enrichments played an essential role in the early evolution of planets because these elements were the main heat source for planetary embryos.

Released: 12-Aug-2021 4:05 AM EDT
Modeling Uncovers An "Atomic Waltz" for Atom Manipulation
University of Vienna

Researchers at the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Physics in collaboration with colleagues from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA have uncovered a non-destructive mechanism to manipulate donor impurities within silicon using focused electron irradiation.

Released: 6-Aug-2021 8:45 AM EDT
Emergent Magnetic Monopoles Controlled at Room Temperature
University of Vienna

Three dimensional (3D) nano-network promise a new era in modern solid state physics with numerous applications in photonics, bio-medicine, and spintronics. The realization of 3D magnetic nano-architectures could enable ultra-fast and low-energy data storage devices. Due to competing magnetic interactions in these systems magnetic charges or magnetic monopoles can emerge, which can be utilized as mobile, binary information carriers.

Released: 3-Aug-2021 8:40 AM EDT
Integrate Disciplines to Conserve Biodiversity
University of Vienna

Innovation arises through the transfer of research results into practiceValuable research results threaten to gather dust in university libraries if they are not put into practice. While transdisciplinary research seems to become increasingly important in sciences, funding programs and media, there are still many misunderstandings to be clarified.

Released: 28-Jul-2021 4:05 AM EDT
From Chemical Graphs to Structures
University of Vienna

Three-dimensional (3D) configurations of atoms dictate all materials properties. Quantitative predictions of accurate equilibrium structures, 3D coordinates of all atoms, from a chemical graph, a representation of the structural formula, is a challenging and computationally expensive task which is at the beginning of practically every computational chemistry workflow.

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