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The methods of small-angle scattering data analysis, developed to study the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution, are reviewed. The direct methods include low-resolution shape determination in the homogeneous approximation and multiphase structure search by simultaneous fitting of the contrast-variation data sets from multicomponent particles. Approaches using crystallographic data involve evaluation of the solution scattering from the atomic coordinates, taking into account the solvation shell and relative positioning of subunits (domains) with known structure in complex particles. Practical applications of these methods to study biological macromolecules in solution are described.
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