The team accidentally made the discovery while attempting to make mice morbidly obese. When they edited out two genes, they found it prevented weight gain, even though the rodents were on a diet high in fat.
While they have not yet conducted tests on humans, researchers are hopeful they will be able target those same receptors found in mice, which will "block fat from being absorbed into the gut", the report revealed.
Scientists have found there already exists a drug that performs that role.
The drug, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, is used to treat glaucoma. According to the report, it can "inhibit certain receptors that would trigger the same lacteal-flattening effect".
Researchers now want to monitor patients who use the drug and study how it impacts weight gain.