Sandia National Laboratories recently demonstrated that hollow organic nanotubes, married to an inorganic catalyst, can harness sunlight to turn water into pure hydrogen and oxygen. By 2006, Sandia researchers hope to have prototypes from which a new kind of solar cell could be made that would convert water into fuel. Such cells might replace fossil fuels in automobiles and thus reduce the United States' dependence on foreign oil. "If we get lucky and it works [efficiently], then we will try to engineer cells out of these things," said Sandia researcher John Shelnutt. "Then there is going to be a lot of work for EEs." Organic nanotubes are used throughout nature to transport electrons and to convert light into energy. In humans, for example, porphyrin nanotubes provide the power by which hemoglobin forms new proteins. The Sandia researchers believe they can harness the same mechanism to power automobiles with water.