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"Science fiction and science have always danced around each other. Science fiction is the subconscious of science."
- Greg Bear

Regeneration Tank  
  A nutrient bath large enough to enclose a person that preserved life and treated disease.  

An early use of this phrase, maybe the first, but not the first use of the idea.

"Len's gone, Doc," the assistant said more loudly.

"Artificial respiration and get him into a regeneration tank," said June, not moving from the microscope. "Hurry! Hal will show you how. The oxidation and mechanical heart action in the tank will keep him going. Put anyone in a tank who seems to be dying. Get some women to help you. Give them Hal's instructions."

The tanks were ordinarily used to suspend animation in a nutrient bath during the regrowth of any diseased organ. It could preserve life in an almost totally destroyed body during the usual disintegration and regrowth treatments for cancer and old age, and it could encourage healing as destruction continued ... but they could not prevent ultimate death as long as the disease was not conquered.

From Contagion, by Katherine MacLean.
Published by Galaxy Science Fiction in 1950
Additional resources -

Compare to the emergency treatment tank from Agent of Vega (1949) by James Schmitz, Gobathian from Time is the Simplest Thing (1961) by Clifford Simak, the autodoc from The Warriors (1966) by Larry Niven and the crechepod from The Godmakers (1972) by Frank Herbert.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Contagion
  More Ideas and Technology by Katherine MacLean
  Tech news articles related to Contagion
  Tech news articles related to works by Katherine MacLean

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