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"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester

Bacteria-Destroying Radiation  
  A special beam that created a sterile field for operations.  

Now he began arranging his instruments on a portable worktable. As the last of the cold-pack was drained off by the suction tendrils, Parsons flicked on a high-frequency field and placed the potentials on each side of the cube. The terminals hummed and glowed as the field warmed. Now the inert body was within a zone of bacteria-destroying radiation.
From Dr. Futurity, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Ace Books in 1960
Additional resources -

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation is a sterilization method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to destroy micro-organisms. UV has been known to have these properties since the turn of the century (19th, that is).

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  More Ideas and Technology from Dr. Futurity
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