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Sequence variants in the parental genomes that are not transmitted to a child/proband are often ignored in genetic studies. Here we show that non-transmitted alleles can impact a child through their effects on the parents and other relatives, a phenomenon we call genetic nurture. Using results from a meta-analysis of educational attainment, the polygenic score computed for the non-transmitted alleles of 21,637 probands with at least one parent genotyped has an estimated effect on the educational attainment of the proband that is 29.9% (P = 1.6×10-14) of that of the transmitted polygenic score. Genetic nurturing effects of this polygenic score extend to other traits. Paternal and maternal polygenic scores have similar effects on educational attainment, but mothers contribute more than fathers to nutrition/heath related traits.

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