Many theoretical, computational, and experimental techniques recently have been successfully used for description of the solvent distribution around macromolecules. In this Account, we consider recent developments in the areas of protein and nucleic acid solvation and hydration as seen by experiment, theory, and simulations. Vie find that in most cases not only the general phenomena of solvation but even local hydration patterns are more accurately discussed in the context of water distributions rather than individual molecules of water. While a few localized or high-residency waters are often associated with macromolecules in solution (or crystals from aqueous liquors), these are readily and accurately included in this more general description. The goal of this Account is to review the theoretical models used for the description of the interfacial solvent structure on the border near DNA and protein molecules. In particular, we hope to highlight the progress in this field over the past five years with a focus on comparison of simulation and experimental results.
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