Sterane (cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrenes or cyclopentane perhydro phenanthrene) compounds are a class of 4-cyclic compounds derived from steroids or sterols via diagenetic and catagenetic degradation and saturation. Steranes have an androstane skeleton with a side chain at carbon C-17. The sterane structure constitutes the core of all sterols. Steranes are sometimes used as biomarkers for the presence of eukaryotic cells. 
- About biomarkers geobiology@mit. Accessed 8 October 2009.
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