Science: In Silent Beauty

As anxious as an expectant father, Botanist Ichiro Ohga rushed from Tokyo to a farmyard in Kemigawa town, 25 miles southeast of the city. There, he carefully examined the ripening bud on a lotus plant. Blossoming, decided Dr. Ohga. would be a little premature. He settled down beside the aged iron cauldron that served as a flower pot and waited for the unfolding petals.

Ordinarily a blooming lotus merits no such rapt attention from Professor Ohga, who has been studying the genus for 30 years and is known in Japan as "Dr. Lotus." But this plant, lovingly tended by the doctor's good...

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