Very useful, mindgarden.
I just posted this to several non-science friends, and a whole slew of them suddenly responded with, "Holy crap, THIS is why you do science? No wonder?!" And suchlike comments.
Things like this give non-scientists something without jargon to grab on. Something they can see and go, "Oh, that's why we need to study it." Because it's beautiful and complex and there's so much going on.
From my science friends I got several, "Wow, thanks. Suddenly I remember why I do this."
And most recently: "Wow, that is truly stunning. In the nitty-gritty world of everyday lab work it is easy to forget that what we are working with are actually living, breathing, ever-changing entities, and it is good to be reminded."
Things like this are good, both for scientists and non-scientists. Maybe not as direct teaching tools, but as non-verbal windows into an unseen world that becomes banal if viewed from day to day through the lense of lab-work and incomprehensible to everyone else.