I feel your pain! Yes, some of the passages are dry, dry, dry, and you're right that this is intentional.
Keep in mind that the technical jargon in these passages is not usually as important as the general ideas contained therein. Focus on the basic idea of the paragraphs rather than attempting to understand the intricacies of the ideas, and in particular, the language they use.
Break the passage into smaller bits. Remember that the intro paragraph is, for example, about historical approach for replicating DNA #1. The second paragraph is about the second historical approach, and the third paragraph is about where we're going next, or what's wrong with the two historical approaches. Understanding the actual way they replicated the DNA probably isn't as important. You can always go back the passage to get specific / explicit information as you run across questions that need it, especially if you know roughly where to look.
The other thing is to practice, practice, practice. And don't gouge your eyes out.
I generally recommend students throw in an RC passage with other homework throughout the last half of the course -- i.e. do a handful of math problems, and then go do 1 or 2 passages. This tends to make them slightly less painful (or at least less numerous, so the pain is shorter-lived.)
Hope this helps --