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Mock-infected refers to a control group in scientific experiments designed to evaluate the effects of viral infection on cells or organisms. In a mock-infected control group, the cells or organisms are treated with the same conditions and reagents as the infected group, except they are not exposed to the virus.

The purpose of a mock-infected control group is to isolate the effects of the virus from the impact of the experimental conditions or treatments. By comparing the results of the infected group with the mock-infected group, researchers can determine whether any changes or effects observed in the infected group are specific to the virus or result from other factors.

For example, in cell culture experiments, researchers may infect a group of cells with a virus and then compare their gene expression patterns to those of a mock-infected group of cells treated with the same reagents and conditions but not exposed to the virus. This allows researchers to identify the specific genes and pathways affected by the virus rather than those simply responding to the experimental conditions.

Mock-infected controls are also commonly used in animal studies to evaluate the effects of viral infection on disease progression, immune responses, and other biological processes. By comparing infected animals to mock-infected animals that were treated with the same experimental conditions and procedures but were not exposed to the virus, researchers can determine the specific effects of the virus on the animal's physiology and behavior.

Overall, mock-infected controls are an essential component of scientific experiments designed to evaluate the effects of viral infection on cells and organisms, providing a critical baseline for interpreting experimental results and ensuring the accuracy and reliability of research findings.

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