One reason scientific sentences are often hard to follow is called 'nominalization'. That's when an action is described by a noun rather than a verb. For example, instead of writing 'the cell divided' we might write 'cell division occurred'. I'm building my ability to avoid this by going through the manuscript I'm revising, rewriting sentences that suffer excessively from nominalization. I don't have to search for these sentences, almost every sentence has one or more nominalized actions in it.
Here's an all-too-typical example: "In E. coli, the dramatic reduction in growth and eventual cell death caused by sxy overexpression made it impossible to test whether sxy induction produces the typical ‘natural competence’ phenotype of high-efficiency transformation with linear chromosomal DNA." It's a perfectly OK sentence, no grammar or syntax errors, but it's still a bit of an effort to read. Can I improve it by replacing some of the nominalizations (reduction, overexpression, induction, transformation) with verbs?
Yes I can. "We could not test whether inducing sxy causes E. coli cells to become naturally competent and efficiently transform with chromosomal DNA, because when cells overexpress sxy their growth rate slows and they eventually die."