How To Clone a Black-Footed Ferret

Posted by on Thursday, March 3rd, 2022 in

An ankle-high fog of liquid nitrogen drifted over the floor of the Frozen Zoo, coasting around the keg-like cryotanks that host the world’s largest collection of living cell cultures. The fog immediately lowered the room’s temperature, a reprieve from the sultry June day in Southern California. This room — about the size of the beer cave at my local gas station — is probably the most biodiverse room in the world. (Well, this one and a duplicate collection assembled in some discreet facility in a different Southern California fire zone.)

Marlys Houck, the zoo’s curator, climbed a stepstool and peered through protective goggles into one of the tanks, which steamed like a frozen hot tub. She waited for the carousel within it to spin to the correct quadrant. 


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