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Challenges and surprises that arise with nucleic acids during model building and refinement.


The process of building and refining crystal structures of nucleic acids, although similar to that for proteins, has some peculiarities that give rise to both various complications and various benefits. Although conventional isomorphous replacement phasing techniques are typically used to generate an experimental electron-density map for the purposes of determining novel nucleic acid structures, it is also possible to couple the phasing and model-building steps to permit the solution of complex and novel RNA three-dimensional structures without the need for conventional heavy-atom phasing approaches.

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