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A new procedure for combining direct methods with the solvent-flattening technique is proposed for phasing single isomorphous replacement (SIR) or one-wavelength anomalous scattering (OAS) data of proteins. The new procedure differs from the previous one [Zheng, Zheng, Gu, Mo, Fan & Hao (1997). Acta Cryst. D53, 49-55] in that the direct method not only provides input phases to but also accepts feedback phases from solvent flattening, thus forming an iterative process for breaking the ambiguities and refining the values of phases. The new procedure was tested with the experimental SIR data of the known structure ribonuclease Sa. For the strongest 1000 of the total 7264 refelctions, the mean Fobs-weighted phase error is 7.5 and 9.4° lower than that of the previous procedure and that of solvent flattening alone, respectively.
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