Might the lack of non-technical user-friendly language be a roadblock here? Imagine a conversation, "That is fine specimen of a Canis lupis familiaris you are hauling around by the throat there! A most pleasing alpha-keratin outer layer. And my my, those mahogany irises are seemingly artificially selected to facilitate a bonding response in many hominids and perhaps, albeit incidentally, in select other mammal species".Horizontal gene transfer is the primary mechanism for the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and plays an important role in the evolution of bacteria that can degrade novel compounds such as human-created pesticides and in the evolution, maintenance, and transmission of virulence. It often involves temperate bacteriophages and plasmids. Genes responsible for antibiotic resistance in one species of bacteria can be transferred to another species of bacteria through various mechanisms of HGT such as Transformation (genetics), Transduction (genetics) and Conjugation (genetics), subsequently arming the antibiotic resistant genes' recipient against antibiotics. The rapid spread of antibiotic resistance genes in this manner is becoming medically challenging to deal with. It is also postulated that HGT promotes the maintenance of a universal life biochemistry and, subsequently, the universality of the genetic code.
Most thinking in genetics has focused upon vertical transfer, but the importance of horizontal gene transfer among single-cell organisms is beginning to be acknowledged.
Until we can speak of our inner populations without sounding like wannabe Pointdexters there will never be much interest or attempts to understand them beyond healthcare. At this stage the usual language tends to consist of "germs", "bugs", "cells" plus common disease names. I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding of the very small. We have a tendency to think of cells as little machines and bacteria as living beings. In truth, cells are relatively complex like us and bacteria are more like fauna and flora.
Still, people were ignorant of a lot of things before mass communications (yes, I know the obvious rejoinder but I think we have to take as a given that varying proportions of humanity over history will not embrace reason, just as we accept that in many other species). Further exposure to high quality microscopy should change this. Already electron microscope images have a following (I'm one) and advances in close up photography may open the microscopic world up more for people.
I think that time lapse photography also has the potential to raise human consciousness by effectively providing a temporal overview of organisms and locales.
Are entropy and chaos worth raising here in context?