Frequently asked questions

Our Scientific Applications Support team has assembled a list of frequently asked questions to help you find answers quickly. Filter using one or more categories to focus on specific topics, or use the search bar to perform a text search.

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What are self- and homo-dimers, and how do I select primers to avoid these problems?

DNA and RNA oligonucleotides can form adverse secondary structures. Self-dimers (also called homo-dimers) occur when some portion of an oligonucleotide is complementary to itself, resulting in an oligonucleotide molecule that can hybridize to another oligonucleotide molecule of the exact same sequence. We recommend checking these interactions using the IDT OligoAnalyzer® tool, which is available for free in the online SciTools® Web Tools.

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