There have been attempts to link squalene to Gulf War Syndrome mainly due to the idea that squalene might have been present in an anthrax vaccine given to some military personnel during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Studies found that deployed Persian Gulf War Syndrome patients are significantly more likely to have antibodies to squalene (95 percent) than asymptomatic Gulf War veterans (0 percent; p<.001).   The first of these published results concludes with the following statement: "It is important to note that our laboratory-based investigations do not establish that squalene was added as adjuvant to any vaccine used in military or other personnel who served in the Persian Gulf War era." The second publication, however, links the incidence of anti-squalene antibodies and Gulf War Syndrome to five specific lots of vaccine. Furthermore, they cite results of 1999 testing by the . Food and Drug Administration which found these specific lots of vaccine to contain squalene.  In response to these results, a committee of the US Institute of Medicine stated that "The committee does not regard this study as providing evidence that the investigators have successfully measured antibodies to squalene", since the authors did not perform the normal scientific controls needed to show that their test was specific to anti-squalene antibodies.  It has also been determined that the anthrax vaccines given to those US military personnel did not use squalene as an adjuvant.    The vaccines were also tested for squalene, and none was detected with standard methods.  Another method found no squalene in 37 of the 38 lots tested. One lot contained traces of squalene, at less than ten parts per billion, which is about one-thirtieth the level found in human blood.  The FDA stated that this trace of squalene probably came from a fingerprint, since the oils on human skin contain enough squalene to send these extremely sensitive tests "off the chart". 
The early steps in the biosynthesis of steroids of both plants and animals are the same, except that in plants lanosterol is replaced by the related compound cycloartenol, which contains a three-membered ring (C9, C10, C19) in lieu of the nuclear double bond of lanosterol. The side chains of the phytosterols, such as stigmasterol, and of the sterol ergosterol of yeasts and other fungi contain extra carbon atoms that are incorporated in reactions involving S -adenosylmethionine, which donates methyl groups in numerous biological processes. Although most plant tissues contain only traces of cholesterol, this sterol is the biogenetic precursor of such important plant steroids as the sapogenins , glycosides , and alkaloids . Because pregnane derivatives are intermediates in some of these transformations, plants and animals appear to have important features of steroid metabolism in common.
Steroid isolation , depending on context, is the isolation of chemical matter required for chemical structure elucidation, derivitzation or degradation chemistry, biological testing, and other research needs (generally milligrams to grams, but often more  or the isolation of "analytical quantities" of the substance of interest (where the focus is on identifying and quantifying the substance (for example, in biological tissue or fluid). The amount isolated depends on the analytical method, but is generally less than one microgram.  [ page needed ] The methods of isolation to achieve the two scales of product are distinct, but include extraction , precipitation, adsorption , chromatography , and crystallization . In both cases, the isolated substance is purified to chemical homogeneity; combined separation and analytical methods, such as LC-MS , are chosen to be "orthogonal"—achieving their separations based on distinct modes of interaction between substance and isolating matrix—to detect a single species in the pure sample. Structure determination refers to the methods to determine the chemical structure of an isolated pure steroid, using an evolving array of chemical and physical methods which have included NMR and small-molecule crystallography .  : 10–19 Methods of analysis overlap both of the above areas, emphasizing analytical methods to determining if a steroid is present in a mixture and determining its quantity.