Amyloids and prion proteins are clinically and biologically important beta-structures, whose supersecondary structures are difficult to determine by standard experimental or computational means. In addition, significant conformational heterogeneity is known or suspected to exist in many amyloid fibrils. Recent work has indicated the utility of pairwise probabilistic statistics in beta-structure prediction. We develop here a new strategy for beta-structure prediction, emphasizing the determination of beta-strands and pairs of beta-strands as fundamental units of beta-structure. Our program, BETASCAN, calculates likelihood scores for potential beta-strands and strand-pairs based on correlations observed in parallel beta-sheets. The program then determines the strands and pairs with the greatest local likelihood for all of the sequence's potential beta-structures. BETASCAN suggests multiple alternate folding patterns and assigns relative a priori probabilities based solely on amino acid sequence, probability tables, and pre-chosen parameters. The algorithm compares favorably with the results of previous algorithms (BETAPRO, PASTA, SALSA, TANGO, and Zyggregator) in beta-structure prediction and amyloid propensity prediction. Accurate prediction is demonstrated for experimentally determined amyloid beta-structures, for a set of known beta-aggregates, and for the parallel beta-strands of beta-helices, amyloid-like globular proteins. BETASCAN is able both to detect beta-strands with higher sensitivity and to detect the edges of beta-strands in a richly beta-like sequence. For two proteins (Abeta and Het-s), there exist multiple sets of experimental data implying contradictory structures; BETASCAN is able to detect each competing structure as a potential structure variant. The ability to correlate multiple alternate beta-structures to experiment opens the possibility of computational investigation of prion strains and structural heterogeneity of amyloid. BETASCAN is publicly accessible on the Web at http://betascan.csail.mit.edu.