MIT researchers are developing an alternative to lithium batteries that uses absolutely no toxic materials and isn't prone to spontaneous combustion. This alternative source of power takes the form of wires made out of carbon nanotubes -- the same cylindrical carbon molecules used to create the darkest material on Earth. Those wires produce electricity if you heat them from one end to the other. That's because the heat carries "electrons with it like a bunch of surfers riding a wave" through the carbon nanotube bundles. They do need a combustible material to burn, but the team made sure to use a material that's also benign and non-toxic: ordinary table sugar.