This article has been updated from a previous version to correct the name of the vendor that supplied fluorescent probes to Co-Diagnostics.

During PCR, if primers begin to amplify each other it can kick off a propagating reaction, threatening to swamp out PCR signal and leading to false negative results. Hot-start PCR can reduce the problem somewhat, but so-called primer-dimers that form after the initial denaturing step remain a frustrating problem.

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