August 1, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 14)


Strong Points: Excellent and free PCR primer analysis
Weak Points: Needs a Genbank interface

Taking its name loosely from the word primer, Primo is a PCR researcher’s best friend. Though tools for primer analysis have sprouted up across the web like weeds, I’ve yet to find a better collection of primer-related tools in one place than what Primo offers. Consider that at the Primo site, one can do the following primer analyses—standard, degenerate, optimizing for gene expression, melting/temperature gradient, sequencing, site-directed mutagenesis, inverse PCR, primer identification, multiplex, methylation-specific, random, high/low, stock dilution, DOP, SNP, and Cy-labeling. Applications are written in Java, so they are platform independent and the interfaces are simple. The only thing I saw as a shortcoming was that the site lacked an interface to a DNA sequence database so that these could be used for the design/analysis of optimal primers. Hopefully that will come soon.

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