Research from Touro College in New York suggests that obese individuals burn fewer calories than those who aren’t. The same is also accurate with mice.

However, according to Wei Zou, MD, PhD, a co-author of the study and assistant professor of pathology and immunology, they found that obese mice managed the same level of calorie-burning as mice that were not obese.

This first happened after the team deleted the ASXL2 gene in the macrophages of the obese mice. In the second set of experiments, they also got the same result after injecting the mice with nanoparticles that meddle with the gene’s activity.

Regardless of being fed high-fat diets, the treated mice burned 45% more calories than the obese mice with an active gene in macrophages. Scientists aren’t quite sure how it prevented obesity in mice.